Fed Chair Yellen: Blockchain is an 'Important Technology'

Blockchain is “an important technology” given its potential impact on the global financial system, Federal Reserve chief Janet Yellen said today.

AccessTimeIconJan 18, 2017 at 10:00 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 11, 2021 at 1:00 p.m. UTC

Blockchain is an "important technology" given its potential impact on the global financial system, Federal Reserve chief Janet Yellen said today.

The remarks were issued during a speech at the Commonwealth Club, a US public affairs forum, in which Yellen took part in a question-and-answer session with club board chair George Scalise.

At one point, Scalise asked Yellen whether the Federal Reserve – which released its first major research paper on distributed ledgers in December – was looking at using the tech for its own purposes.

Here’s what Yellen had to say in response:

"[Blockchain] is a very important, new technology that could have implications for the way in which transactions are handled throughout the financial system. We're looking at it in terms of its promise in some of the technologies we use ourselves and many financial institutions are looking at it. It could make a big difference to the way in which transactions are cleared and settled in the global economy."

In a way, Yellen's remarks echo those given in September of last year, when the Fed chair told a Congressional committee that the tech could have "very significant implications" for the US payments ecosystem and beyond.

"I think innovation using these technologies could be extremely helpful and bring benefits to society," she said at the time.

The Fed is currently pursuing additional research into the tech, with an eye to release a follow-up paper sometime this year.


Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.

Learn more about Consensus 2024, CoinDesk’s longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to consensus.coindesk.com to register and buy your pass now.