A cryptocurrency researcher and former CIA analyst believes the United States government’s relatively slow start on Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) development may result in it losing grip on controlling the global financial system.
Yaya Fanusie, the policy head at the crypto advocacy group the Crypto Council for Innovation explained in a Feb. 28 Bloomberg interview that sanctioned states are looking to transact on financial infrastructure that isn’t controlled or heavily influenced by the U.S. in order to move funds more freely cross-borders.
If the U.S. continues to sit on the “sidelines” and lag behind on CBDC adoption, Fanusie believes this may spell “trouble” and cause unforeseen “geopolitical implications” over time:
Fanusie explained that state-issued CBDCs could be a part of this financial infrastructure that becomes globally adopted, and that if the U.S. has little influence over these new standards, then this “impacts U.S state economic statecraft.”
“The potency of our sanctions power comes from the centrality of the U.S. to the financial global infrastructure. So if that shifts a little bit, it doesn’t mean that China is going to take over or that the yuan is going to displace the dollar but if there’s a viable new rail where sanctioned actors can now transact, that’s trouble.”
The U.S. Federal Reserve has however recently made progress on its CBDC — the Digital Dollar Project — having released the latest version of its whitepaper on Jan. 18:
Today we are proud to release DDP’s 2023 white paper update where we revisit our “champion model” proposed in 2020, provide recommendations to the US government and private sector and look ahead to the next stage in #CBDC developments @giancarloMKTS https://t.co/bX5u4zfqMc pic.twitter.com/si2joxbkq9
— The Digital Dollar Project (@Digital_Dollar_) January 18, 2023
However, the Federal Reserve has not received approval from the U.S. government to proceed with the CBDC project.
Fanusie highlighted that China has benefited from a near-first mover advantage, having explored CBDCs since 2014 and launching the pilot version of its digital yuan (e-CNY) on Jan. 4, 2022, which Fanusie says has processed “millions of transactions” across “millions of wallets” so far.
Fanusie added that there is an “array of pilots” testing out smart contracts to add programmability into the CBDC and that China helping other…
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