Legitimately undecided on central bank digital currency: US Fed

US Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said that he was “legitimately undecided” on the benefits and costs of issuing a central bank digital currency (CBDC).

“I think our obligation is to explore both the technology and the policy issues over the next couple of years. That’s what we’re going to do so that we’re in a position to make an informed recommendation,” Powell said during a hearing before the Senate Banking Committee on Thursday when asked to clarify his position on the CBDC.

If the Fed were to issue a CBDC, “we would want very broad support in society and in Congress”, Powell noted.

“And ideally, that would take the form of authorizing legislation as opposed to a very careful reading of ambiguous law to support this. It’s a very, very important initiative,” he said.

Powell’s remarks came as the Fed plans to publish a discussion paper on the potential benefits and risks of issuing a US CBDC this summer, reports Xinhua news agency.

Many central banks are experimenting or at least conceptually thinking about rolling out digital versions of their currencies.