Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell says that the central bank will be releasing a full report on digital currencies in the coming weeks.
Speaking at a hearing for his re-nomination to be Federal Reserve Board Chairman, Powell was asked by Senator Mike Crapo from Idaho about when to expect the previously mentioned report.
“The report really is ready to go and I would expect we will drop it, I hate to say it again, in the coming weeks, but it really is in a situation where it’s ready to go,” Powell said, adding the Fed digital dollar could coexist with private stablecoins.
“It was hard and we didn’t get it quite to where we needed to get it but it’s effectively there now and I will tell you it’s within weeks we will be publishing it.
And by the way, it’s more going to be an exercise in asking questions and seeking input from the public rather than taking a lot of positions on various issues, although we do take some positions.”
Powell’s hearing came on the same day that Minnesota Representative Tom Emmer ominously tweeted out a hint that new legislation would be coming out in regards to digital currencies.
New digital currency legislation coming soon👀
— Tom Emmer (@RepTomEmmer) January 11, 2022
While an overly regulated crypto-environment isn’t preferred by the industry, clarity in generally would likely be welcome. Gary Gensler, chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) was criticized last week for declining to say whether or not Ethereum (ETH) was a security.
“I’m not going to speak to any one matter,” Gensler said in an interview with CNBC. “I’m the chair of a five-member commission that’s also a civil law-enforcement agency, so we don’t get involved in these types of public forums talking about any one project, one possible circumstance, and give legal advice over the airwaves.”
Gensler’s comments come after a series of rhetoric over the past year stating that many cryptocurrencies are unregistered securities, and of course the SEC’s lawsuit against Ripple Labs for allegedly issuing XRP as such.
Coinbase chief legal officer Paul Grewal also spoke up against the SEC’s lack of clarity last year when the regulator prevented the crypto exchange from releasing it’s Lend platform.
“The SEC told us they consider Lend to involve a security, but wouldn’t say why or how they’d reached that conclusion.”