Federal Reserve Pres: People Want Dollar, Not Volatile Crypto

Federal Reserve Pres: People Want Dollar, Not Volatile Crypto

St. Louis Federal Reserve President, James Bullard, was recently interviewed at this year’s Consensus conference in New York City. That a top US economic policy maker was in attendance is victory enough; however, he was asked his opinions on cryptocurrency going forward by CNBC Global Markets Reporter Seema Mody. He explained he found the phenomenon “interesting,” and how more cryptos being issued all time necessitates keeping an “eye” on them. Mr. Bullard also compared the use case for cryptocurrencies with that of the dollar, and whether the former posed a threat to the latter.  

Also read: Bitpay Enables Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and Bitcoin Core (BTC) for Tax Payments

Federal Reserve President Attends Crypto Conference

Federal Reserve President, James Bullard, gave a presentation at this year’s giant Consensus conference in New York City. Reread that sentence. A sitting Fed policy maker thought it important enough to attend a crypto soiree. That’s news enough. But more importantly, President Bullard gave a presentation on the government’s current thinking about cryptocurrency.

In his talk, he acknowledged crypto is facilitating trade that might otherwise not occur. He couldn’t help himself by mentioning illegal activity (and we all know fiat currencies are never used in illegal activity), but he did describe decentralized money’s lean toward frictionless transactions (especially with regard to costs/fees) as being an advancement.

Federal Reserve Pres: People Want Dollar, Not Volatile Crypto
Mr. Bullard and Ms. Mody

The Fed policy maker reserved the bulk of his comments, both in the presentation and during a post-game interview with CNBC, to talk about the problems in crypto as he sees them. One issue is simply the number of currencies being offered. The 12th St. Louis Fed President feels this over complicates matters, especially with regard to exchange rates and volatility.

Asked if cryptocurrencies pose a threat to the dollar, Mr. Bullard, 56, answered he didn’t think so. Global Markets Reporter Seema Mody, who is covering Consensus for CNBC this year, quickly followed up with a “but it could be?” The Fed President was noncommittal, choosing instead to shrug and give the pat answer about no one really knowing what the future holds. He emphasized how since its creation the US dollar has vanquished nearly all currency competition due to its being backed by the world’s strongest economy. It’s abundantly clear, Mr. Bullard suggested, people want the dollar and not crypto … at least at the moment.

Fed Coin on the Horizon?

Ms. Mody pressed Mr. Bullard about his presence at the conference, asking if this was a hint of things to come with regard to a future coin birthed by the Fed, a Fed Coin? Interestingly he didn’t dismiss the idea outwardly, and instead said they’d for sure look at the possibility, as the Fed does with many different types of financial innovations. He also assured there wasn’t any plan being hatched at the moment, no imminent Fed Coin coming. Mr. Bullard also wondered aloud what the gains would be by creating such a coin. He smiled subtly, assuring he’s keeping an “open mind.”

Federal Reserve Pres: People Want Dollar, Not Volatile Crypto

His comments seem to be less strident than statements issued by the St. Louis Fed on the very subject not even one month ago. “The St. Louis Federal Reserve has published an essay critically evaluating the notion of cryptocurrencies that are issued by central banks,” we detailed. “The article is highly dismissive in presenting what it describes as ‘the non-case for central bank cryptocurrencies,’ concluding that ‘a central bank will not issue cryptocurrencies in the sense of a truly decentralized and permissionless asset that allows users to remain anonymous.’”

A rather curious fact about the St. Louis Fed, one of twelve jurisdictions in the Federal Reserve system (the 8th district serves Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, Illinois, Tennessee, Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas), is how it has recently become very chatty about crypto. As these pages reported back at the beginning of this year, “Aleksander Berentsen and Fabian Schär of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis have recently published an article that emphasizes many of the benefits of cryptocurrencies. The article states that ‘cryptoassets are well suited to become an important asset class,’ in addition to offering praise regarding a number of the major applications associated with cryptocurrencies.”

Do you think a Fed president attending a crypto conference is meaningful? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.


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Circle Raises $110Mn With Plans to Launch USD-Backed Coin

Circle Raises $110Mn With Plans to Launch USD-Backed Coin

The cryptocurrency based firm Circle announced it has raised $110Mn USD in a Series E fundraising round led by the Chinese firm Bitmain Technologies. Circle now joins Coinbase as one of the most well-funded cryptocurrency companies in the U.S., and the Boston-based firm has announced plans to issue a dollar-backed cryptocurrency called USD-C.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

Circle Raises $110Mn Plans to Launch Stablecoin

Circle Raises $110Mn With Plans to Launch USD-Backed CoinCircle has big plans ahead for its latest mobile project called ‘Centre’ while also revealing its plans to create a stable coin much like the currency Tether (USDT). Furthermore, the firm has raised $110Mn in a Series E funding round that included investors such as Bitmain Technologies, Blockchain Capital, Pantera, Digital Currency Group and other venture firms. In addition to the injection of capital, Circle says it is planning to launch a new cryptocurrency that is backed by the price and reserves of USD.

The company’s new token will be called ‘USD-C’ and based off of the Ethereum network. According to the Circle, the firm’s subsidiary ‘Centre’ project will manage the USD-C protocol. Circle feels a cryptocurrency that is tied to a fiat currency can add more value to the blockchain ecosystem.

“It is difficult to use something like bitcoin if the volatility is so high,” Circle’s founder and CEO Jeremy Allaire explains. “Something like this makes it more possible.”  

A Partnership With Bitmain

Circle Raises $110Mn With Plans to Launch USD-Backed CoinCircle also detailed that Bitmain will also be helping with the Centre project and the USD-C launch. “Bitmain will help Centre introduce multiple fiat stablecoins in a variety of geo-currency zones,” the company explains. Moreover, the company takes a jab at other ‘stablecoins’ utilized in the markets right now that lack transparency as the firm states:   

Existing fiat-backed approaches have lacked financial and operational transparency, have operated in unregulated jurisdictions with unknown banking and audit partners, and have been built as closed-loop ecosystems and closed proprietary technologies.

Circle says despite celebrating their fifth anniversary this fall they feel like they are just getting started. In addition to Centre and the new USD-C token that will launch this summer, Circle says it also has plans for Circle Invest, Circle Trade, Circle Pay, and the newly acquired Poloniex exchange.

“We see the future of the global economy as open, shared, inclusive, distributed, and powerful — not only for a few chosen gatekeepers, but for all who will connect,” Circle adds.

What do you think about Circle raising $110Mn in a funding round led by Bitmain? What do you think about this new USD-C idea they have? Let us know your thoughts on this subject in the comments below.


Images via Shutterstock, Bitmain, and Circle. 


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Venezuela’s Petro “May Help the Global Currency System”: Chinese Credit Rating Giant

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Dagong Global Credit Rating, one of China’s biggest credit rating agencies, recently published a report commenting on Venezuela’s oil-backed cryptocurrency, the Petro (PTR). Per the report, the cryptocurrency “may help the global currency system return to its basic value.” While the agency doesn’t assert whether the Petro can help Venezuela’s economy, it points out the

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