Fed vice chair highlights need for crypto safeguards
Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Michael S. Barr has published an article regarding cryptocurrencies, highlighting the creation of a team of professionals to examine the issue.
In the article, Barr states that stablecoin issuers may be at risk of a run and emphasizes the need for innovation to be balanced with safeguards.
Barr has raised concerns about the potential for stablecoin issuers to experience a “run” if there is a loss of confidence in their ability to maintain the stable value of their coins.
Barr’s concerns and recommendations for stablecoin regulation and oversight
The lack of regulatory oversight in cryptocurrency makes this risk particularly acute. A loss of confidence in a stablecoin issuer could trigger a cascade of selling that could threaten the stability of the entire cryptocurrency market.
To address this risk, Barr recommends subjecting stablecoin issuers to “appropriate regulatory standards and oversight.” This would entail imposing requirements for transparency, capital buffers, and other measures designed to ensure that stablecoins can maintain their stable value even in times of stress.
Barr acknowledges the potential benefits of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. He notes that these innovations can potentially improve the efficiency and inclusiveness of the financial system, particularly for underserved populations.
However, he also warns that these benefits must be balanced against the risks of cryptocurrencies, including the potential for fraud, money laundering, and other illicit activities.
The Federal Reserve is expected to require banks to notify them before engaging with crypto assets.
The Fed considers it unsafe for banks to directly own crypto assets and would view such actions skeptically. To understand the crypto sector and its potential impact on the financial system, the Fed is creating a team of experts to study crypto innovation.