Jerome Powell: I'm 'Undecided' on the Benefits of CBDCs

The Federal Reserve chair said "the more direct route" would be to regulate stablecoins.

AccessTimeIconJul 15, 2021 at 2:29 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 1:26 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

Stablecoin regulations may determine whether the U.S. gets a central bank digital currency.

In response to a question from Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) during a Thursday hearing before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said that he was undecided on whether the benefits of central bank digital currencies outweigh the costs, and vice versa. He also said that "the more direct route" would be to regulate stablecoins.

"Our obligation is to explore both the technology and the policy issues over the next couple of years, so that we're in a position to make an informed recommendation," Powell said. "Again, my mind is open on this, and I honestly don't have a preconceived answer to these questions."

In response to a question from Sen. Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Powell expanded on his comments from yesterday before the House Financial Services Committee where he noted that a CBDC could make stablecoins and cryptocurrencies unnecessary.

The Chair conceded that cryptos like bitcoin and ethereum are no longer primarily payments mechanisms but act like investment vehicles.

"It's not that they didn't aspire to be payment mechanisms, but they've completely failed to become one except for people that desire anonymity," Powell said.


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; 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 offers all employees above a certain salary threshold, including journalists, stock 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 to register and buy your pass now.