US Should Maintain Technological Supremacy With CBDC: Chris Giancarlo

Divya  |  Jun 22, 2021

Chris Giancarlo, the former chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission(CFTC), is one of the few regulators to have served under both the Obama and Trump administrations. His latest venture the Digital Dollar Foundation is working towards five pilot programs in partnership with Accenture, as part of its broader attempts to help the United States surpass China in digital currency innovation.

In a recent interview, Giancarlo discussed the prospects of a Central Bank Digital Currency(CBDC) and what the US needs to secure an edge in this race.

US Commitment to CBDC Shouldn’t Only Be Nationalistic- Chris Giancarlo

The former regulator opined that China will use the digital yuan to increase its surveillance activities. He urged authorities in the US to take note of this and ensure that principles guiding the country’s free markets are preserved. 

While emphasizing that the US cannot allow itself to follow the Chinese, Giancarlo stated:

 “What's very clear, is that China intends their digital yuan to be an instrument of state surveillance. And this is why it's one of the reasons why the digital dollar project, we're so animated because we feel that our new mission is to make sure central banks wake up to this and the US Fed wakes up to this, that these social values that got us here, the rule of law, free capital markets, free enterprise, zones of individual economic privacy, are ingrained in a new digital future of the US dollar.”

However, the race to become the first country to adopt a CBDC isn’t limited to a nationalistic agenda. Digital currencies powered by smart contracts also have the potential to solve “the old problem of being able to move it in place, i.e. moving around the globe as easily as you could send a text message, but also move it in time.” In Giancarlo’s view, this feature makes digital currencies a “powerful construct”.

The US Should Maintain a Technological Edge to Avoid Stagnation

The US has always been at the forefront of technological innovations, therefore, it’s only logical for the country to helm the CBDC movement. Giancarlo asserted, “You can't stop the march of technology in time, and if you do, you become a backwater.”

Giancarlo concluded the discussion by saying that it’s natural for a society that “expects investor protections and a role for government” to work towards innovation and it's a process that he's "very excited to be involved in".

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