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U.S. lags behind on CBDCs, says former CFTC commissioner

Sharon Bowen, a former commissioner of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), said today that the United States was lagging behind other nations that are working on a central bank digital currency, or CBDC.

During a webinar hosted by consulting firm Accenture, Bowen, currently a board member of the Intercontinental Exchange, said a CBDC would help the U.S. dollar maintain its prominence in the global economy.

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She said that if the United States does not want other nations to „threaten its monetary policy or its money supply“ from the dollar, it should seriously consider cross-border transactions through the use of a CBDC.

Bowen stressed that while the Federal Reserve Chairman believes only the government and not private entities should develop CDB, it is important to engage multiple stakeholders for a more diversified perspective.

She said, „It’s really important that we decide how this technology would work in conjunction with our existing and future financial systems We have to make sure that these markets are free of operational risks and crashes in their systems and, you know, to make sure that we still have a resilient financial system.

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Late for the game?
In addition to what Bowen said, the director of blockchain at the World Economic Forum, Sheila Warren, said the United States certainly was late for the game, but whether it’s lagging behind was still a separate question.

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She explained that developing nations can more easily experiment with a CBDC because they are exploring use cases at the national level. „They are not setting the table for the whole global economy,“ he added.

For the United States to develop its own digital trust currency, Warren said, the country needs to assess its priorities and carefully consider what problems could be solved in the short and medium term and, in turn, recognize what problems are beyond the reach of a CDMA.