U.S. Markets close in 3 hrs 39 mins

Fed Chair Jerome Powell: Consumers are not “clamoring” for central bank backed cryptocurrencies

Steven Zheng

At a forum in Switzerland sponsored by the Swiss Institute of International Studies, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell spoke about central bank digital currencies and Facebook's proposed Libra stable coin-like digital currency.

In response to a question asking whether central banks are missing out on the opportunities presented by digital currencies, Powell states that while the Federal Reserve is following digital currencies, it is not something the central bank is "actively considering." 

Powell notes that "if you think about one currency that was for the United States it would really need to be cyber secure" adding that "it's one thing to be able to counterfeit paper currency, it's another thing to hack into a cyber currency and create, with a computer, however much of it you want."

Powell also cites the lack of demand for digital currencies, saying that "consumers have plenty of payment options and that "they are not clamoring for this."

In regards to Facebook's digital currency, Libra, Powell notes that due to the size of Facebook's userbase, its stablecoin could be "systematically important very quickly." Powell, however, warns that "Libra would need to be held to the highest regulatory and supervisory expectations" and that "this is not going to be a sprint to implementation."