On Tuesday, Chairman of the Federal Reserve Jerome Powell told Congress that the government’s upcoming report on cryptocurrencies would be unveiled “within weeks.”
“The report really is ready to go and I expect we will drop it — I hate to say this again — in [the] coming weeks,” the chairman said to the Senate Banking Committee during his renomination hearing on January 11. “It’s more going to be an exercise in asking questions and seeking input from the public rather than taking a lot of positions.”
The Fed chairman was being asked about the report by Senator Mike Crapo (R-ID) during a renomination hearing for a second term. The hearing is expected to zero in on inflation and unemployment, while also diving into Powell’s perspectives on the regulation of stablecoins and central bank digital currencies.
Crypto players are increasingly watching the impending report on a central bank digital currency with interest. Last September, several members of Congress wrote a bipartisan letter to Powell asking about the timeline for a discussion paper on central bank digital currencies, as well as the Fed’s coordination with other regulators on digital assets like cryptocurrencies.
In the fall, the Fed’s report on central bank digital currencies or digital dollars was delayed due to a competing focus on monetary policy.
Last July, Powell addressed the Senate Banking Committee and said: “You wouldn’t need stablecoins, you wouldn’t need cryptocurrencies if you had a digital U.S. currency.”
And last April, amid reports of China’s own central bank digital currency — the digital yuan — Powell was asked about the U.S. government’s plans to develop one: “It’s far more important to do it right rather than to do it fast or feel that we need to rush to reach conclusions because other countries are moving ahead,” he said.