(Courtesy of Financial Services Committee Republicans)
WASHINGTON – Today, the Task Force on Financial Technology held a virtual hearing on the role that new technologies, like the digital dollar, play in fostering greater financial inclusion for the underbanked. These emerging technologies also offer a solution for swiftly disbursing government assistance—such as stimulus payments—to Americans with limited access to traditional banking services.
“I want to turn now to… a centrally backed, digital currency. … As the economy moves increasingly online, the use of cash will diminish. To engage in electronic commerce, citizens need an intermediary in most cases, including many cryptocurrencies. To be a truly permissionless digital cash however, a digital dollar must have the same attributes as physical cash; anything less would simply create a new intermediary, and it could even be one offered by the government in competition with private financial institutions.
“It is American values like freedom, privacy, openness, and permissionless entrepreneurship that have led us to dominate global commerce and innovation. We should have the courage of our convictions to build these values into a digital dollar, and not to emulate systems like China’s new digital Yuan, which is closed, centralized, surveilled, and permissioned. … As I have said from the beginning, technologies like this can empower individuals and make their government more accountable directly to them—we can’t cede this power to the government at the expense of the individual,” said Task Force Ranking Republican Tom Emmer (MN-6) in his opening remarks.
“I think when we look back at this period of time, I believe this period of time will be viewed as a great accelerator, especially when it comes to technology—enhancing and quickening technological trends across the board. What I mean by that is it has forced us to adopt a new way of living right now that only a few months ago seemed years away. … Banking is undergoing a fundamental change as well. To meet these challenges, we have to change our mindset about how we build for tomorrow. We need to explore advanced digital tools to make banking easier, safer, and especially more inclusive,” said Ranking Republican Patrick McHenry (NC-10) in his opening remarks.
- Mehrsa Baradaran, Professor of Law, University of California, Irvine School of Law
- The Honorable J. Christopher Giancarlo, Senior Counsel, Willkie Farr & Gallagher and former
Chairman, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission
- Jodie Kelley, CEO, Electronic Transactions Association
- Morgan Ricks, Professor of Law, Vanderbilt University Law School
Watch the full virtual hearing here.
Visit Financial Services Committee Republicans’ website for additional resources and updates on efforts to mitigate the economic impact of coronavirus on consumers.