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First-mover advantage in a CBDC conversation, Jan. 10–17 -Breaking


Last week saw an unlikely first move in the opening narrative battle around a prospective U.S. central bank digital currency: Congressperson Tom Emmer came forward with an initiative to legally restrict the Federal Reserve’s capacity to issue a retail CBDC and take on the role of a retail bank. As we have yet to hear a similar clear expression from an opposing viewpoint, this could prove extremely important. In fact, there is no indication that other U.S. lawmakers hold strong opinions other than perhaps condemning privately-issued stablecoins to be a digital substitute for the dollar. Emmer might be able to shift the conversation towards a more friendly view of less centralized digital money by framing the Fed CBDC potential as a privacy risk first.

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