Former Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) chair Chris Giancarlo is teaming up with Accenture to explore the creation of a US central bank digital currency (CBDC).
Giancarlo, along with former CFTC chief innovation officer Daniel Gorfine and Pure Storage CEO Charles Giancarlo, has set up a not-for-profit called the Digital Dollar Foundation.
“The digital 21st century is underserved by an analog reserve currency,” says Giancarlo. “A digital dollar would help future-proof the greenback and allow individuals and global enterprises to make payments in dollars irrespective of space and time."
The project aims to encourage research and public discussion about the benefits of a CBDC, explore models for what a digital dollar would look like and help develop a framework for how to create one.
To help with this, the foundation has called in Accenture - which had worked on CBDC projects with the Bank of Canada, Monetary Authority of Singapore and Riksbank - to act as lead architect and technology innovation partner.
Says Giancarlo: "We are launching the Digital Dollar Project to catalyse a digital, tokenised US currency that would coexist with other Federal Reserve liabilities and serve as a settlement medium to meet the demands of the new digital world and a cheaper, faster and more inclusive global financial system.”
How realistic the goal is is up for debate. Fed governor Brainard recently struck a cautious note on the matter, arguing that there are "compelling advantages" to the current system and that a switch would raise "profound legal, policy and operational questions" around issues such as privacy.