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US Presidential Advisory Group to Discuss Stablecoins

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Gary Gensler and Commodity Futures Trading Commission Acting Chair Rostin Behnam will also participate in Monday's meeting.

Jul 16, 2021 at 4:40 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 1:26 p.m. UTC

The President's Working Group on Financial Markets plans to discuss stablecoins at a meeting on July 19, the U.S. Treasury Department announced Friday.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen is convening the working group, which consists of major financial regulatory agency heads, to examine stablecoin regulation and risks, and to find suggestions for future work around this issue. The President's Working Group is an interagency entity tasked with monitoring the U.S.'s financial markets.

In the press release announcing the meeting, Yellen said the meeting could help protect users, markets and the broader financial system from any risks that stablecoins pose, while still enabling the government to "assess the potential benefits."

“In light of the rapid growth in digital assets, it is important for the agencies to collaborate on the regulation of this sector and the development of any recommendations for new authorities," she said.

The group expects to publish written recommendations in the near future.

The President's Working Group already published one document about stablecoin regulation in December, which examined retail payments and sought public feedback on how these types of payments are being used.

The December statement warned there may be risks around stablecoins, particularly with regard to end user rights, know-your-customer and anti-money laundering issues, market integrity and monetary stability.

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Gary Gensler and Commodity Futures Trading Commission Acting Chair Rostin Behnam will also be part of Monday's meeting. While the December iteration of the group asked former Acting Comptroller Brian Brooks to weigh in on its report, it's unclear whether current Acting Comptroller Michael Hsu will be a part of any future recommendations.

The news comes just after Powell told Congress that greater regulations are needed around stablecoins before they can become a significant part of U.S. payments networks.

“Stablecoins certainly have some advantages in terms of faster payment systems and have some attributes of CBDCs [central bank digital currencies] but there are some risks with stablecoins right now,” Powell told the House of Representatives Committee on Financial Services. “I think the issue is that stablecoins are a lot like money market funds or bank deposits or a narrow bank.”

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