July 1, 2020

The Senate hearing addressed the innovation of the US payments sector as the federal government explores a United States Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC).

On June 30, J. Christopher Giancarlo, former chairman of the CFTC and senior counsel at the firm, testified before the US Senate Banking Committee on the “The Digitization of Money and Payments.” The Senate hearing addressed potential approaches for a US Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC), with testimony given by Mr. Giancarlo and others on the digital transformation of the US payments sector.

In outlining the critical importance of a US-led digital dollar, Mr. Giancarlo discussed the aging of existing financial market infrastructure, the coming “Internet of value,” and long-term economic and social benefits.

“This global wave of digital currency innovation is quickly gaining momentum. The questions for the United States are what role it will play in this wave of the Internet and to what degree will its core values be brought to bear,” Mr. Giancarlo stated in his testimony. “The launch of a US CBDC is a logical and critical next step to increase financial inclusion, enshrine democratic values in the future of money, drive societal and economic benefits and future-proof the US dollar for generations to come.”

As Chairman and Chief Executive of the CFTC, Mr. Giancarlo oversaw regulation of the futures, options and swaps derivatives markets, including a focus on regulatory guidance for emerging technologies such as blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies. He is the founder and director of The Digital Dollar Project, a multi-stakeholder initiative to advance exploration of a United States CBDC.

The Senate hearing can be accessed here.