Chris Giancarlo Launches Digital Dollar Project Pilot Programs to Explore Designs and Uses of a U.S. Central Bank Digital Currency

May 3, 2021

The former CFTC chairman is the founder and director of The Digital Dollar Project (DDP), a multi-stakeholder initiative to advance exploration of a United States Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC).

Senior counsel Chris Giancarlo is leading The Digital Dollar Project’s launch of at least five pilot programs over the next 12 months with interested stakeholders and DDP participants to measure the value of and inform the future design of a U.S. central bank digital currency (CBDC), or “digital dollar.”

The pilots will explore, analyze and identify technical and functional requirements; assess benefits and outstanding challenges; test applications and approaches; and consider potential use cases for both retail and wholesale commercial utilization. The DDP will release to the public the results of and insights from the pilots for use in academic study, as well as policy consideration by Congress.

“We need to better understand how to balance the complex issues of a CBDC and how to incorporate key societal values, like privacy rights, financial inclusion and rule of law. Together, this project team will conduct research, experiment and develop thought leadership in an open manner in the interest of informing public policy,” said Mr. Giancarlo.

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. During his tenure, he oversaw the first bitcoin futures products entering the marketplace and applied a “Do No Harm” regulatory approach towards blockchain technology.

The DDP is served by an Advisory Group which includes economists, business leaders, technologists, lawyers, academics, consumer advocacy and human rights experts. Willkie partner Elizabeth Gray currently serves as a member of the Advisory Group.

Mr. Giancarlo discussed the pilot programs in interviews with Fox Business News, Wall Street Journal and Reuters