Will the Fed Create Its Own Digital Currency?
Goldman Sachs Chief Economist Jan Hatzius has recently said that a cryptocurrency intended to compete with the dollar is likely to be made at some point by the Federal Reserve. Crypto traders are not enthusiastic about this news, as it brings a level of regulation to the traditionally unregulated market.
“The Fed is still in the research stage,” Hatzius explained for Yahoo Finance Live and added that there is an appetite for introducing a digital currency. However, he also says that the Fed needs to move cautiously to avoid undermining the current payment and financial system.
“I think small steps are not likely to be very disruptive [to the financial system],” Hatzius said. “Large steps could be disruptive. That’s why I think you need to move slowly, and gain a lot more experience before you ramp it up.”
Crypto traders look unfavorably on the US government’s initial attempts to regulate Bitcoin. The same goes for China. Authorities in that country have already openly said that cracking down on Bitcoin mining and trading is necessary, so this news has a bitter taste for crypto traders around the world.
Following the Chinese authorities’ announcement, Bitcoin plunged on Sunday, May 23, by more than 15%. At the moment of writing, it stood at $32,652, half its peak in April. Ether, too, initially shed 18% but recovered the following morning.
Currently, both the Fed and the Treasury consider cryptocurrencies to be highly speculative assets. US Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell says that “to date, cryptocurrencies have not served as a convenient way to make payments, given, among other factors, their swings in value.” Considering Bitcoin’s volatility, many small businesses are likely better off opening checking accounts in banks than using this and other cryptocurrencies.
Still, a new currency, coming from the Fed, shouldn’t pose any risk to the current financial system, according to Hatzius. He believes that its introduction could work, provided that the Fed takes its time to research the digital currencies and fit them into the current financial system.