Fed's Powell says he's undecided on central bank digital currency

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell takes his seat to testify before a Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee hearing on “The Semiannual Monetary Policy Report to the Congress” on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., July 15, 2021. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

(Reuters) – Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell on Thursday said he had not made up his own mind on the merits or demerits of a central bank digital currency, but he would want authorization from Congress before taking any action to create one.

“I am legitimately undecided on whether the benefits outweigh the costs or vice versa,” Powell said during a hearing before the Senate Banking Committee. If the Fed were to issue its own digital currency, he said, “we would want very broad support in society and in Congress and ideally that would take the form of authorizing legislation as opposed to a very careful reading of ambiguous law.”

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