Digitization of the U.S Dollar faces U.S Senate hearing

The world’s most powerful economy was in the spotlight yesterday, as America’s Senate Banking Committee deliberated on the digital dollar project before a selected audience, and offered solutions on how to upgrade the country’s financial infrastructure.

The U.S banking committee sought counsel from Paxos CEO, Charles Cascarilla, a financial researcher and professor at Duke Nakita Cuttino, and former CFTC Chair, Chris Giancarlo, as witnesses.

Charles Cascarilla explained in detail how stablecoins operate and their advantages in modern finance. In his words, “Stablecoins address the antiquated plumbing of our financial system.”

“We need to address the frictions that exist with the payments system now,” Cuttino said. “Of course with innovation there comes the reduced cost.” Given the focus of her research, Cuttino provided the greatest insight on the specific concerns of the unbanked:

“Any solution should have low transaction costs. In the early days for Bitcoins, the transaction cost was extremely high — and remains extremely high.”

Top member of the Financial Services Committee, Patrick McHenry, asked Giancarlo to explain what digital dollars had to do with financial inclusion, to which Giancarlo responded: “It’s about on-ramps into the financial system and making them as simple and accessible as possible.”

Giancarlo’s current champion of the Digital Dollar Project spoke more about the project. He said:

“We began this journey nine months ago, long before COVID was even a concern, long before the insufficiencies of a lot of our payment systems were as broadly noted and acknowledged as they are now. We have said from the beginning and will continue to say, something as important as upgrading the U.S. dollar needs to be done thoughtfully, deliberately.

“But we need to start now. And if COVID response is the catalyst to starting now, if China’s BSN is the reason to start now, if the Riksbank of Sweden is the reason to start now, if Bitcoin is the reason to start now — all of those pretexts are fine and all of them may appeal to a different constituency, but they say the same thing and that is we’ve got to get started. But we can’t rush it.”



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