Home Crypto News Is Now the Time for a Digital USD? The Digital Dollar Foundation Speaks

Is Now the Time for a Digital USD? The Digital Dollar Foundation Speaks

22 min read

The worldwide dialog round the formation of central financial institution digital currencies (CBDCs) has steadily grown louder and extra prevalent over the previous few years. Starting with the introduction of Bitcoin, the potential want for central banks to place their international locations’ currencies on the blockchain appears to have grow to be extra urgent, extra “real” with every passing 12 months.

This is especially true inside the context of final 12 months. With the daybreak of Facebook’s Libra mission, the information that China could be expediting the creation of its personal nationwide digital forex, and the monetary disaster created by the outbreak of COVID-19, the case for CBDCs appears to be stronger than ever–notably in the United States.

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However, forming a ‘digital dollar’ isn’t merely a matter of constructing a blockchain: there are myriad issues to contemplate when it comes to know-how, laws, distribution, interplay with the present monetary system, and far more. Still, the solely approach ahead could also be by: with Libra, China, and the coronavirus disaster vaulting the financial system into the future, the formation of a digital greenback could also be inevitable.

Therefore, there are some who consider that whereas now might not be the time to start constructing a digital greenback system, now could be actually the time to be exploring what a digital greenback would possibly appear to be and the way it would possibly function. Among them are former CFTC Chairman Christopher Giancarlo and former LabCFTC Director Daniel Gorfine, who championed the formation of the Digital Dollar Foundation (DDF) earlier this 12 months. The basis has began the Digital Dollar Project, which is presently exploring how a digital greenback could possibly be safely constructed.

The mission has partnered with multinational skilled companies agency Accenture to develop this exploration. Recently, Finance Magnates spoke with Daniel Gorfine and Accenture’s Danielle Ok. Martell on the imaginative and prescient that the Digital Dollar Foundation has for the future.




Prior to the formation of the Digital Dollar Foundation, Daniel Gorfine was appointed by former CFTC Chairman Christopher Giancarlo (one other of the DDF’s co-founders) to function the company’s first-ever Chief Innovation Officer and Director of LabCFTC. In that capability, Daniel led the Commission’s new know-how innovation and regulatory modernization efforts. He can be the founding father of Gattaca Horizons LLC, a boutique advisory agency, and likewise presently serves as an Adjunct Professor of Law at the Georgetown University Law Center instructing FinTech Law & Policy.


Danielle Ok. Martell is a Managing Director in Accenture’s Banking & Capital Markets Strategy Practice, and is main Accenture’s participation in the Digital Dollar Project, a partnership with the Digital Dollar Foundation to discover choices for a US Digital Dollar. Prior to becoming a member of Accenture, Danielle was an government in PwC’s Financial Services Practice. She is a CFA Charterholder and a graduate of Columbia Business School and has levels in economics and engineering from the University of Pennsylvania.


(This is an excerpt. To hear Finance Magnates’ full interview with Danielle Ok. Martell and Daniel Gorfine, go to us on Soundcloud or Youtube.) 


Why was the Digital Dollar Foundation fashioned in the first place?


Daniel Gorfine defined that in his time serving as director of LabCFTC, “I spent a lot of time meeting with a broad range of innovators, and many of them were focused on blockchain tokenization and various types of crypto projects.”

After leaving the company, “one of the biggest things that I learned–and that I was seeing during that time–is that tokenization and DLT, or DLT-inspired technologies, can present more efficient ways to send information about value and about unique ownership.”

For instance, “today, we can send an email (which contains information) halfway around the world with very few intermediaries, and at very low cost.”

“What tokenization represents is that you can do the same with information about value and ownership with fewer intermediaries, and in a more efficient manner,” he continued.

“So, what struck me is that at the end of the day, that technology is going to impact the way that we transact and move all types of financial assets, and that will include money.”

Daniel defined that the dialog round DLT-based monetary programs continued after he left the CFTC: “having left the agency, I’ve stayed in close touch with former CFTC Chairman Chris Giancarlo, and he also expresses a very strong view that our financial infrastructure today is becoming increasingly outdated, or even obsolete,” he stated.

Daniel Gorfine, co-founder of the Digital Dollar Foundation.

“So, in conversations that we were having, it struck us that there was an opportunity to pull together a bit more of a coherent ‘call to action’ around the need for the United States to really think hard about what it would mean to tokenize the US Dollar–[to form] a central bank digital currency (CBDC) supported by the Federal Reserve.” Eventually, Daniel and Christopher Giancarlo printed an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal on there views, which led to a variety of connections with like-minded thinkers and organizations.

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Thus, the Digital Dollar Foundation (DDF) was ultimately born: each Daniel Gorfine and Christopher Giancarlo additionally discovered themselves in dialog with was the Accenture blockchain staff, of which Danielle Martell was a main member. Eventually, Accenture partnered with the DDF.

“We see benefits for this across resale and wholesale applications of this both domestically and internationally.”

Danielle defined that the partnership took place due to the like-mindedness between the DDF and Accenture’s ideas on serving to to create a international CBDC ecosystem: “we have a lot of global experience in the space, and we’re very enthusiastic about our partnership” with the DDF.

Danielle defined that Accenture has garnered fairly a little bit of expertise in the CBDC area over the previous few years: “we’ve been exploring use cases for CBDCs for years now,” she stated. “We really see a ton of opportunity for the US.”

But first, a little bit of clarification: “when we say ‘digital dollar’, we are not talking about simply an electronic cash infrastructure; rather, we mean a third format of central bank currency: this is a new digital token [that would exist] in addition to banknotes and reserves that exist today. It would be issued by the Fed and enjoy the full faith and credit of the US governments.”

In different phrases, “it’s not a illustration of the greenback, it really is the greenback,” Danielle defined, “just in a new format. It would have the same legal status as the physical cash that’s in your wallet today.”

So, why does the US want a digital greenback? “While electronic transfers of cash have been evolving for decades, there really has been little innovation to US central bank money over the past century,” Danielle defined. The formation of a digital greenback would “really drive innovation across the financial system in a fundamental way,” similar to “providing new ways to send and receive central bank money.”

“We see benefits for this across resale and wholesale applications of this both domestically and internationally,” she stated.

Danielle Ok. Martell is a Managing Director in Accenture’s Banking & Capital Markets Strategy Practice.

For instance, “today, online transactions cannot be conducted in central bank money–you can’t use physical cash to make a purchase online. For those of us with a credit card, this may not seem like a big deal, and we may even want to use a credit card on certain purchases to take advantage of the protections that they offer.”

“But what about what this means to those who are unbanked, or underbanked? It means that they may be limited–or even excluded–from e-commerce,” Danielle stated. “In reality, more of this population has access to a mobile phone than they do to a bank account. So, in this example, a tokenized digital dollar that’s held in a mobile wallet would increase access to transact online for this underserved population.”

“[…] This would not disintermediate the two-tiered banking system.”

But how, precisely, would the custodianship of a digital greenback system be designed? Would there be a digital pockets saved on cell phones, or would third-party firms be accountable for holding onto digital {dollars} in such a approach that they have been accessible to their house owners?

Daniel Gorfine defined that the solutions to those questions lie in the future: “we are offering a suggested path, and we will pressure-test whether the benefits actually live up to the expectations for the various types of design choices that you could implement.”

However, “one thing that we have proposed is that this would not disintermediate the two-tiered banking system,” he stated.

In different phrases, “individuals would still primarily receive a minted digital dollar through a regulated institutional, so that could be a bank, or it could be a regulated money transmitter. Now, obviously, there are a range of actors that are currently subject to state money transmission regulatory requirements, and we think that might be a layer that you can include in how folks would be able to access a digital dollar.”

Therefore, any iteration of a digital pockets that might maintain digital USD “would still be regulated, and would still be subject to the Bank Secrecy Act and AML requirements,” he stated, and “of course, there’s a lot discussion that has to go into how to balance certain very important privacy interest with the need to satisfy the BSA AML regulatory requirements.”

In any case, although, the DDF has envisioned that “these digital wallets would reside on a mobile device (a smart phone), and likely…the cost of providing that digital wallet should be relatively low for a variety of reasons: one, the technology should be more efficient, and second, the regulatory costs of offering that service may be lower than what you would traditionally see through the offering of a traditional bank account.”

“Those are some of the elements that would allow access to increase to this type of a service, and make it more ubiquitous for un- or under-banked populations.”

Now is “the right time to start exploring these issues.”

While “banking the unbanked” is actually a matter of precedence and concern in the US and elsewhere in the world, this is just one of the potential use circumstances–and maybe most urgent causes–for the creation of a Digital USD.

However, the idea of a digital greenback has additionally made fairly a bit of reports in the previous 12 months for a number of different causes: first, the formation of Facebook’s Libra, which appeared to pose a potential menace to the dominance of the USD; second, China’s announcement that it might be expediting the creation of its personal nationwide digital forex. Finally, a few of the earlier drafts of the United States’ post-COVID-19 stimulus invoice included point out of a digital greenback.

But is the formation of a digital greenback any extra imminent due to any of those components?

Not essentially. Daniel Gorfine defined that whereas the introduction of Libra and China’s nationwide digital forex, in addition to the coronavirus disaster, might have elevated the quantity of dialog round a United States CDBC, now isn’t the time to out of the blue attempt to roll out a new monetary system.

Instead, “at the end of the day, I think the takeaway is that it’s the right time to start exploring these issues,” relatively than constructing one thing in haste. “We need to do so in a thoughtful and deliberate way.”


(This is an excerpt. To hear Finance Magnates’ full interview with Danielle Ok. Martell and Daniel Gorfine, go to us on Soundcloud or Youtube. Special due to Daniel and Danielle, and to the people at the Digital Dollar Foundation and Accenture.) 


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