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Speaking to Reuters on Thursday, U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen reveals that she still has to make up her mind whether the United States should implement a central bank digital currency (CBDC) or not.
Yellen said that she is still waiting on the Federal Reserve’s extensive evaluation of CBDCs which Chairman Jerome Powell promised to be ready “very soon”.
On a personal note, the Treasury secretary believes there are pros and cons to the implementation of a CBDC and said:
“There are some benefits, but there are also meaningful costs. It can work to disintermediate the banking system, and we need to work through the pros and cons. I don’t have a view yet.”
Whatever the Fed’s report on CBDCs highlights, Yellen noted, it would still “command a consensus” from various branches of the government:
“I think it’s important to understand what the Fed’s view is. They agree this is a decision where we need to have consensus.
They will want to know what the administration’s view is on this, and frankly, we haven’t discussed this yet in a serious way in the White House. And Congress is going to weigh in on this too.”
In the beginning of the year, Jerome Powell commented on CBDCs and said that although the U.S. Central Bank is investigating it, there is no need to rush the process.
He said that there are some risks associated with CBDCs that will have to addressed, such as cybersecurity and financial stability. He also noted that he is not even sure at this time if there is enough support from the public or governments for a CBDCs.
In the interview with Reuters, Yellen confirmed to be happy on her job and that currently has no plans to leave Treasury any time soon:
“I have no plans to leave this job.
I’m enjoying it very much and we’ve got a huge amount of important work to do, so I have no plans to leave Treasury any time soon.”
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Author: Peter Siu