DIGITAL CURRENCY

Digital currency legislation is necessary to allow for innovation and to drive better outcomes for those least served by the current financial system. Americans have a right to privacy, and this includes their everyday transactions. At the same time, all Americans should enjoy the benefit and rewards provided by our financial system.

I support:

1. The ECASH Act, which would direct the Treasury Department to create a digital currency instrument

  • The act envisions a digital dollar, which allows citizens to pay each other anonymously without fear that the government, or private institutions, can track and divert funds whenever they see fit.

  • Current systems do not afford this anonymity. PayPal recently restricted the accounts of independent journalists. The State of Alabama once demanded the NAACP turn over their donor list.

  • A common criticism is that this will elude the “Know Your Customer” and “Anti-Money Laundering” laws. I believe that a limit on the size of transactions in the digital cash system is sufficient to address these regulatory concerns.

 

2. The Public Banking Act to expand financial access

  • The act encourages the creation of public banks using existing federal resources such as postal offices, a common practice in many countries.

  • Financial inclusion starts with a bank account. Merely having a bank account allows for greater access to loans, provides a secure place to save money, and allows citizens to bypass high fee intermediaries, such check cashiers and payday lenders. A public option provides that access.

  • I envision this not as a replacement for the established banking system, but rather a safety net for those who are not served by the current banking system.

 

3. The STABLE Act, which requires Stablecoin issuers to receive a banking charter and register with the Federal Reserve and the FDIC

  • Stablecoins are electronic coins where the holder has the expectation that they can, at any time, redeem the coin to the issuer for a fixed amount in U.S. dollars.

  • I believe that these issuers are clearly an effectively shadow bank, similar to money market funds. As such, they hold the same risks as other shadow banks and as such should be regulated in a similar way.

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