US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen Weighs In on Central Bank Digital Currencies

U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen says she has yet to make up her mind about whether the US should implement a central bank digital currency (CBDC) or not.

Yellen says in a new interview with Reuters that she’s waiting on the Federal Reserve to publish an evaluation on CBDCs.

She notes Fed Chairman Jerome Powell has promised the report will be produced “very soon.”

As for her personal opinions on the matter, the Treasury secretary says she sees both pros and cons to implementing a CBDC.

“There are some benefits, but there are also meaningful costs… It can work to disintermediate the banking system, and we need to work through the pros and cons. I don’t have a view yet.”

Yellen notes that whatever is decided on CBDCs will need to “command a consensus” from various arms of the US government.

“I think it’s important to understand what the Fed’s view is – they agree this is a decision that is one where we need to have consensus.

They will want to know what the administration’s view is on this, and frankly, we haven’t discussed this yet in a serious way in the White House. And Congress is going to weigh in on this, too.”

Powell said this summer that he’s focused on execution rather than speed when it comes to developing a CBDC.

Yellen tells Reuters that she has no plans to leave the Treasury posting any time soon.

“I have no plans to leave this job.

I’m enjoying it very much and we’ve got a huge amount of important work to do, so I have no plans to leave Treasury any time soon.”