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Fed Chair Jerome Powell Addresses Concerns Over CBDCs, Prioritizes Privacy

Jerome Powell, Chair of the U.S. Federal Reserve, clarified to the Senate Banking Committee that the Fed currently has no immediate intentions of introducing a central bank digital currency (CBDC).

During the session, Powell expanded on the Fed’s present stance regarding CBDCs, underscoring that although the idea is being examined, the rollout of a digital dollar is not on the immediate agenda.

Powell emphasized, “The Federal Reserve’s priority is not to establish individual accounts for all Americans, or any Americans, for that matter.”

He further stated, “Only banks maintain accounts at the Fed, and we intend to uphold this system. There is no need for concern regarding a central bank digital currency. Such a development is nowhere near imminent.”

Powell assured the committee that if the Fed were to contemplate a digital dollar, it would collaborate with banks to oversee accounts, steadfastly avoiding any semblance of direct government oversight of individual transactions.

“We have no intention of implementing government-controlled accounts that grant access to all your transactions. This is a notion we do not endorse, pursue, or even propose within the United States,” Powell affirmed.

GOP Senators Oppose CBDCs

Lawmakers have prioritized safeguarding the privacy of U.S. citizens, leading to efforts aimed at halting the introduction of a digital dollar.

In February, Republican Senators put forth a bill with the aim of prohibiting Federal Reserve-backed CBDCs. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) voiced apprehensions regarding “programmable money.”

Cruz expressed his concerns, saying, “Programmable money, if not structured to mimic cash, has the potential to provide the federal government with substantial transaction-level data, down to the individual user.”

Fed Hints Cautious Approach Towards Rate Cuts

Powell hinted that the central bank is edging closer to the necessary reassurance to commence cutting interest rates, a move eagerly anticipated by many. “We’re eagerly awaiting a stronger confidence in the sustained movement of inflation towards 2%,” Powell stated. “Once we reach that point — and it’s within reach — it will be fitting to gradually ease the current level of restraint.”

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