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Still Getting Your Head Around Digital Currency? So Are Central Bankers.


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Notices of cybercurrency trades.

Americas Federal Reserve is coming under increasing pressure to understand the design and potential of digital money.

Credit: Matt Chase

America's Federal Reserve says it is in no rush to issue a digital currency, but it is coming under intense and increasing pressure to research and understand the design and potential of digital money.

From the Bahamas to China, global central banks are experimenting with digital offerings, fueling concerns on Capitol Hill that the Fed might fall behind the competition. And breakneck innovation in the private sector suggests that the Fed, a key financial regulator, needs to understand budding private digital payment technologies.

Yet huge questions persist about a central bank digital dollar — such as "What problem would this solve?" and "How would it work?" Jerome H. Powell, the chair of the Fed, has been clear that while research is well underway, the Fed has a big responsibility as steward of the U.S. dollar, the world's dominant currency. It would not issue a digital version of U.S. currency without congressional approval, and it is in no hurry to upend the existing monetary system before it fully understands the consequences.

From The New York TImes
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