Federal Reserve Chair Dispels CBDC Speculation

In a recent address during the semi-annual Monetary Policy Report to Congress, Jerome Powell, Chairman of the Federal Reserve, dismissed speculation surrounding the adoption of a central bank digital currency (CBDC) by the United States. Powell’s remarks came in response to inquiries from Kevin Cramer, Senator for North Dakota, regarding the Fed’s stance on CBDC research and potential implications for consumer privacy and government control.

Powell unequivocally stated that the Federal Reserve is “nowhere near recommending, let alone adopting a CBDC in any form.” He emphasised that concerns about privacy and government intrusion were unwarranted, reassuring the public that such initiatives were far from imminent. Powell asserted that the Federal Reserve would vehemently oppose any proposal involving government-controlled accounts infringing upon individual privacy rights.

Highlighting the Federal Reserve’s commitment to maintaining the integrity of the banking system, Powell emphasised that any potential CBDC implementation would be conducted through existing financial institutions. He stressed that the Federal Reserve has no intention of establishing individual accounts for Americans, affirming that banks would continue to serve as the custodians of financial assets.

Powell’s remarks shed light on the Federal Reserve’s cautious approach to emerging financial technologies, emphasising the importance of aligning technological advancements with public interests and financial stability. While acknowledging the evolution of technology, Powell reiterated that any decisions regarding CBDCs would prioritise the public good.

Powell’s statements come amidst political discourse surrounding the role of CBDCs, with Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump expressing opposition to their issuance and legislative efforts by Texas Senator Ted Cruz to prohibit CBDCs among banks. Powell’s reassurance underscores the Federal Reserve’s commitment to thoughtful deliberation and prudent decision-making in navigating the complexities of modern finance.

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