It’s not really new to hear someone say something ignorant about crypto, but it gets to be rather amusing when the higher-ups have little choice but to speak up, because they can’t ignore it any longer.
Such was the case with fed chairman Jerome Powell, whose statement about the prospect of a U.S. digital currency was roughly the equivalent of, “If we had our own digital currency, it could beat your crypto!”
This is what he had to say: “One of the arguments that are offered in favor of a digital currency in particular you wouldn’t need stablecoins you wouldn’t need cryptocurrencies if you had a digital US currency” (source: Forbes).
He was basically saying that if the U.S. had its own digital currency, it would render cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin obsolete.
Done laughing? Let’s move on.
While it may not be digital in the sense he means, the U.S. dollar has already become a digital currency. If you’re like me, it’s been a long time since paper money last passed through your hands. I get paid electronically. I pay my bills online. I use debit and credit to buy things. I’ve actually turned panhandlers away because I don’t carry cash.
We can get an idea of how the U.S. would manage a digital currency by paying attention to what they do with the currency they already have:
- They want the money stored in institutions that charge recurring fees for holding onto it, and profit off your money by investing it,
- They want transactions to pass through third parties that charge fees on transactions,
- They want ledgers to be off the blockchain, enabling surreptitious activity without accountability,
- They want to arbitrarily generate huge sums of money to pay for spending budgets, inflating the currency and committing immense fraud and theft against those who attempt to use it to store value.
If the U.S. wants to make its own digital currency, that’s their business, but I’m suspicious that it’s just going to be more of the same-ol’-same-ol’. But if they want it to compete with cryptocurrency, their best bet would be for it to work on the blockchain in just the same way as cryptocurrency, and hope that anyone gives a care.
But as it is, the dollar is another vehicle with which the ridiculously wealthy steals from ordinary people continually. If it went digital, is there any expectation that that would change?