The U.S Federal Reserve is set to initiate a review of the risks and opportunities in introducing a central bank digital currency (CBDC) as early as this week, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal.
- Officials at the Fed will release a paper soliciting public comment on the matter, the WSJ reported Monday.
- A decision is unlikely to be taken quickly given the difference in opinion between Fed officials on the benefits and risks that a CBDC could offer.
- Such a report exploring these further was initially expected in September. Fed Chair Jerome Powell stressed on Sept. 22 that one was coming “soon.”
- However, the decision to launch a CBDC would only be made if there are “clear and tangible benefits that outweigh any costs and risks,” he said.
- Powell referred to the development of a digital dollar as “critical work” last week during a Senate Banking Committee hearing, adding that it would require legislation from Congress in order to proceed.
UPDATE (OCT. 4, 10:54 UTC) Adds background.