A long-awaited report exploring the benefits of cryptocurrency and a possible central bank digital currency will be ready "within weeks," Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell promised once again at his confirmation hearing.
Powell, who on Tuesday testified in front of the Senate Banking Committee after being re-nominated as head of the Fed, was asked about the status of the crypto report by Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho). The paper, which will look at cryptocurrency in general but primarily examine the role of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), was supposed to come out last September.
"We didn’t get it to quite where we needed to get it,” Powell said about the report’s delays. “But it’s effectively there now, it’s within weeks [that] we will be publishing it.”
Powell said that he "hate[s] to say this” as he had already said the phrases "soon" and "coming weeks" at past hearings. The report was first announced in May but faced delays as they sought lawmaker and advocate input — more specific reasons for the delay were not provided.
At the moment, cryptocurrency is moving at a rate that regulatory agencies and governments struggle to keep up with — as many new (and sometimes poorly-vetted) cryptocurrencies hit the market, the number of scams related to this sphere is also on the rise.
When Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) asked him whether a CBDC couldn't coexist with “well-regulated, privately issued stablecoins,” Powell replied "no, not at all."
A cryptocurrency investor herself, Senator Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyoming) proposed a bill that would set clear guidelines on cryptocurrency taxation and regulation in December.