- Christopher Giancarlo’s Digital Dollar Foundation releases its first white paper on the digital dollar.
- The projects aims at implementing a private-public partnership with the government and commercial banks in a “two-tiered” approach.
- Can the U.S. challenge other global superpowers in developing their own CBDC?
The Digital Dollar Project alongside Accenture, an Irish-domiciled multinational professional services company, released its first whitepaper on Thursday, May 28, 2020. According to Giancarlo, the former chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) called on the U.S. government to accelerate its efforts in developing its “digital dollar” or risk losing its control over values of the global financial system. Giancarlo said,
“What we’re hoping to be is a catalyst for a discussion here in the United States about what role the U.S. will play in this ongoing and accelerating global debate over the future of money in a new digital age.”
Digital Dollar Project Whitepaper Release
The 50-page report “The Digital Dollar Project: Exploring a U.S CBDC” expounds on the project’s implementation arguing for a “two-tiered approach” in the system. The project will create a tokenized digital dollar with the same legal status as physical banknotes. The currency will then be distributed to commercial banks who then distribute it to the population similar to how cash is distributed through loans and on ATMs.
In a similar manner to the legacy financial systems, the foundation tier will be the Federal Reserve who through regulated intermediaries will distribute the digital dollar to users.
The key advantage of the two tired approaches rather than the current totally decentralized private cryptocurrencies is that it will be interoperable with current systems. Furthermore, the whitepaper aims at formulating a regulated wallet infrastructure to ensure the users' transactions follow the KYC/AML compliance requirement.
Digital Dollar Should be Tokenized: Giancarlo
In an interview on the launch of the digital dollar white paper, Giancarlo said the current global view on money may have switched as more governments start exploring their own CBDC solutions. The current COVID-19 pandemic also has raised an alarm on the future of physical money and the question of what constitutes money given the widespread printing.
Earlier in March, the U.S House of Representatives brought forth possible plans in distributing a digital dollar token to efficiently disburse the COVID-19 CARE package Act funds to millions of Americans. The bill stated that users should be allowed to open retail accounts in the FED in order to receive the funds. However, opening an account with the Fed is the same as having a private institution such a corporate bank managing the account only that it will be a public institution doing it.
The white paper advises for a token approach instead of the account approach, whereby the dollar can be used across the globe not only within the U.S. Giancarlo said,
“We think a true U.S. CBDC addresses that problem but then so much more, including building a new architecture for money for generations to come that will serve not just under-banked populations here in the United States during a crisis … abroad and [spur] financial inclusion globally.”
After the completion of the platform (date remains unknown), Digital Dollar Foundation will launch test pilots. These pilots will test “proposed token’s impact on the money supply, technological choices, privacy concerns from users, government control and commercial exploitation, impact or use in sanctions and compliance with AML/KYC laws.”
Once the project is off the trial board, the Foundation and Accenture will present the findings to the relevant authorities according to Giancarlo. He said,
“We’re here to get the conversation going, to provide thinking, experience and expertise, and we will leave it to the policymakers to set the pace.”
Competition from the EU, Russia, and China
The U.S. is lagging behind in the race to a sovereign digital currency after accelerated efforts by top competitor, China. The People’s Bank of China (PBoC) earlier in the year released its
Earlier this year the European Central Bank (ECB) announced its plans to develop a retail central bank digital currency (CBDC) light of the COVID-19 pandemic. South Korea, Russia and Switzerland are some of the developed countries looking to launching their CBDC in the coming future.