Fed Chairman Powell: We Will Engage the Public on the Digital Dollar This Year

“This is going to be an important year,” Powell said of the digital dollar project.

AccessTimeIconFeb 24, 2021 at 4:45 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 12:16 p.m. UTC
10 Years of Decentralizing the Future
May 29-31, 2024 - Austin, TexasThe biggest and most established global hub for everything crypto, blockchain and Web3.Register Now

Nearly every time an elected official has asked U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell about the digital dollar, he’s emphasized caution and risk to the stability of the U.S. financial system.

Wednesday, however, Powell went further while speaking before the House Committee on Financial Services, saying the U.S. central bank would “engage with the public” on the digital dollar this year, giving a timeline to the central bank digital currency’s development for the first time.

“This is going to be an important year,” Powell said of the digital dollar project. “This is going to be the year that we engage with the public pretty actively including some public events that we are working on, which I’m not going to announce today.”

Powell emphasized that the Fed won’t make decisions and then present them to the public but will talk with Americans about the trade-offs involved with the digital dollar project. 

“There are both policy questions and technical questions that relate between those two and they’re very challenging questions,” Powell said. “We’re going to have a public dialogue … in the meantime we’re working on technical challenges and also collaborating and sharing work with other central banks around the world.” 

Beating a familiar drum, Powell also emphasized the central bank would be careful about designing a digital dollar that doesn’t “undermine … healthy market function.” 


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

CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by Block.one; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk employees, including journalists, may receive options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.

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.