Former CFTC Chief Says U.S. Should Create an Independent Digital Dollar

Neil Dennis

A former head of one the top U.S. market regulatory bodies believes the government must create a digital dollar to help spread monetary risk away from central banks.

Christopher Giancarlo, former chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, wrote in an opinion piece for the Wall Street Journal that the dollar could begin to lose its status as the global currency if other countries roll out their own digital currencies - comparing the dollar's potential decline to sterling's loss of international clout after the Second World War. He said:

Significant actors, including central banks and social media platforms, may launch new currencies in the next few years. As their networks grow, they could eventually erode the dollar’s status as the most popular currency for international exchange.

Blockchain-Based Dollar

Giancarlo said that the government should sanction a blockchain-based digital dollar, created and maintained by an independent, non-governmental group to be administered by banks and "other trusted payment organizations". He added:

Cash brought into the system would be exchanged for digital US dollars on a blockchain, with the cash lodged in special escrow accounts maintained by the Federal Reserve.

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Bahamas Digital Sand Dollar Expanding to All Islands in Q2 2020

  • The governor of the Central Bank of the Bahamas says the digital currency test pilot will expand to all islands in Q2 2020. 
  • 'Sand Dollar' program is currently limited to citizens of the island of Exuma. 

The governor of the Central Bank of the Bahamas (CBOB) says the digital Sand Dollar pilot project will be expanded to all of the country’s islands beginning in Q2 2020. 

According to a report by local publication The Tribune, CBOB governor John Rolle has confirmed that the Bahamian digital dollar will be launched on all islands in Q2 2020. The test pilot, titled Project Sand Dollar, has been limited to the island of Exuma since December, with the central bank planning to address the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers Confederation on the initiative’s development. 

Rolle explained that the CBOB currency was originally planned for launch in the Abaco region before switching to Exuma.

The Tribune’s report claims the central bank is still in the process of enrolling all of the 1,200 citizens who signed up for the project in Exuma, with an additional 2,000 expressing interest in the initiative, 

Rolle stressed that the new currency is a digital equivalent of the existing Bahamian dollar, rather than a tool for speculation, 

We're looking at a digital representation of our currency. It's not a different currency; it's the same currency. In law, it will never be different. It can't differ in value in any way or the other so Sand Dollars can never be priced different from Bahamian dollars.

Rolle also said the digital currency is intended for domestic use only but could be expanded and linked to a foreign currency in the future. 

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