As Congress nears a deal on the economic stimulus package, the latest proposal has taken a crypto turn and is offering the notion of a potential digital dollar.
Is a Digital Dollar Coming to the U.S.?
Many countries, as of late, have brought up the idea of introducing a national digital currency for its citizens. China, for example, is arguably the biggest example, having divulged the secrets of its latest project in the digital yuan. The currency has stirred controversy among those who believe China is simply using the idea of a digital currency to spy on its residents and get a better idea of their spending habits.
Other countries – such as Iran, Russia and even North Korea – have also introduced ideas of hosting their own national cryptocurrencies.
But it’s not just countries that are reserved to this notion. Libra – the new cryptocurrency project by Facebook introduced nearly a year ago last June – has gotten several people up and about regarding what it would mean for a company with such a shady history to have access to its users’ financial data.
Following the Cambridge Analytica scandal, several people don’t entirely trust Facebook anymore to make the right decisions when it comes to people’s privacy, so the fact that they now want to get involved in finance is a little scary to some.
In any case, the digital dollar being introduced this time around by U.S. lawmakers is designed as another soldier against the coronavirus pandemic, which has claimed more than 14,000 lives over the past few months. Many are worried about checks being delivered in the mail. They could potentially be contaminated after moving through the U.S. postal service and being handled by several different people.
This could only help to boost the spread of the virus, and regulators believe delivering the money electronically is safer for everyone.
Despite the prospects, not everyone is excited by the news, nor are they even convinced it will make it into the latest edition of the stimulus bill. Adam Vettese – a market analyst with crypto exchange e-Toro – explained in a statement:
This stops short of the party proposing to create a cryptocurrency for this purpose, and it is unclear whether it will make the final bill.
Not Enough Time…
To ultimately dish out an electronic currency in such a short amount of time would be very hard to do, he suggests.
Still, this hasn’t stopped the United States from entertaining the thought of hosting a digital version of USD in the future. Jerome Powell – the Federal Reserve chairman – has commented that he’s presently examining the possibilities of a national digital currency, while Christopher Giancarlo – former chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) – has set up what he’s calling the “Digital Dollar Foundation,” which will work on the currency’s future framework.