The House Fintech Task Force held a hearing on Tuesday about the future of central bank digital currencies. The gathering came on the heels of a similar hearing before the Senate Economic Policy Subcommittee last week.
The interest in CBDCs on Capitol Hill is not so sudden. A surge in pilot programs and functional CBDCs globally over the past two years has heightened pressure on Congress. Last month, the Financial Services Committee — of which the Fintech Task Force is a subdivision — heard from the Federal Reserve that the central bank would need congressional authorization to put out a CBDC.
In other words, there’s new pressure on Congress to act or decide not to act.
There was great interest in both hearings, with several members of the full committees sitting in on the hearings.
Broadly speaking, the House hearing was significantly more productive, but the lawmakers involved in both hearings were at least on board with the philosophical mission of digitizing the dollar.