Former Chair of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) J. Christopher Giancarlo is creating the non-profit Digital Dollar Foundation and partnering with Accenture to explore a United States Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC).
Other founders include Charles Giancarlo and Daniel Gorfine, who was previously the CFTC’s first Chief Innovation Officer and Director of LabCFTC.
Last October Giancarlo and Gorfine wrote an opinion piece on the topic in the Wall Street Journal entitled “We Sent a Man to the Moon. We Can Send the Dollar to Cyberspace.”
“The digital 21st century is underserved by an analog reserve currency,” said Chris Giancarlo. “A digital dollar would help future-proof the greenback and allow individuals and global enterprises to make payments in dollars irrespective of space and time.”
He continued: “We are launching the Digital Dollar Project to catalyze a digital, tokenized U.S. currency that would coexist with other Federal Reserve liabilities and serve as a settlement medium to meet the demands of the new digital world and a cheaper, faster and more inclusive global financial system.”
The objective of the Digital Dollar Project is research and public discussion. With Accenture on board, it will be able to create a plan and outline potential steps to develop a dollar CBDC.
Accenture is the leading consultant in the CBDC space executing contracts with the Bank of Canada, the Monetary Authority of Singapore, the European Central Bank and Sweden’s Riksbank. Additionally, Accenture has partnered with SAP to enable central bank real-time gross settlement systems to be adapted to support digital currencies without reinventing their infrastructure.
A CBDC is very different from a bank issued tokenized dollar in that, if it came to fruition, it would be a liability of the Federal Reserve in a similar way to bank notes.
The news comes shortly after the U.S. Federal Reserve said it was keeping an eye on international developments with CBDC, but believes its planned FedNow payment system will help to make payments faster and cheaper.
In the meantime, China is forging ahead with its plans to launch a digital Renminbi. There is some debate about whether or not this will help the renminbi to challenge the dollar as the World’s reserve currency.