Armstrong said he had discussed China’s central bank digital currency with politicians and federal agency leaders, believing it to be a long-term danger to the United States reserve currency status.
According to Powell’s meeting schedule, which was made public on Friday, the Fed chairman met with Armstrong and former House Speaker Paul Ryan for 30 minutes on May 11. The reason for Ryan’s attendance is unknown; he left politics in early 2019 and currently works for the private equity firm Solamere Capital.
While Powell’s itinerary did not indicate the issues discussed, Armstrong mentioned the meeting on May 14 in a Twitter thread. The CEO of Coinbase stated that his objective in meeting with members of Congress and chiefs of several government agencies was to assist address legislators’ queries about cryptocurrency and get greater regulatory certainty for the technology in the US.
Armstrong stated at the time that he had expressed his views on China’s central bank digital currency or CBDC and that he felt it posed a long-term danger to the United States reserve currency status if the US did not move fast to develop its own. However, Powell stated that the Fed would move forward with studies a little more than a week later to create a CBDC.
Before that announcement, the Fed chair had spoken extensively about the potential consequences of issuing a CBDC in the US, stating that he felt it was more essential to do it right than to be first. However, in May, he noted that a discussion paper on CBDCs and digital payments would be released this summer.
While the United States has yet to decide on a digital currency, China is continuing to test the CBDC with prizes in many regions. For example, one hundred thousand people in the Shenzhen region received $31 million worth of digital yuan last month, which they could exchange for fiat at ATMs.