Fed to Launch CBDC Review as Early as This Week: Report

Officials at the Fed are set to release a paper soliciting public comment on a central bank digital currency.

Oct 4, 2021 at 10:16 a.m. UTC
Updated Oct 4, 2021 at 7:12 p.m. UTC

The U.S Federal Reserve is set to initiate a review of the risks and opportunities in introducing a central bank digital currency (CBDC) as early as this week, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal.

  • Officials at the Fed will release a paper soliciting public comment on the matter, the WSJ reported Monday.
  • A decision is unlikely to be taken quickly given the difference in opinion between Fed officials on the benefits and risks that a CBDC could offer.
  • Such a report exploring these further was initially expected in September. Fed Chair Jerome Powell stressed on Sept. 22 that one was coming “soon.”
  • However, the decision to launch a CBDC would only be made if there are “clear and tangible benefits that outweigh any costs and risks,” he said.
  • Powell referred to the development of a digital dollar as “critical work” last week during a Senate Banking Committee hearing, adding that it would require legislation from Congress in order to proceed.

UPDATE (OCT. 4, 10:54 UTC) Adds background.

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Jamie Crawley is a CoinDesk news reporter based in London.