In the midst of a global race for digital currencies issued by the central bank, or CBDC for short, America should focus on the private sector, says Brian Brooks, assistant accountant for the currency.
“We have developed private stablecoins in this country that already have a market capitalization of tens of billions of dollars.” Brooks said at a hearing for the US House of Representatives Committee on Financial Services Thursday. Brooks was formerly Head of Legal at Coinbase and currently heads the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), the tax office that regulates the federal banks. “These things are processed on a daily basis, they grow quickly, and they are used for broad commercial purposes.” he explained, adding:
“I don’t think we should wait in this country to develop a command and control solution for the government. I think the private sector is in, and I think the role of regulators in this body is to provide a framework to ensure that there are no bank runs or other issues that could affect consumers. “
The Congress Committee met digitally today and interviewed four witnesses from major financial regulators.
Brook’s comments came in response to questions from Minnesota representative Tom Emmer. Emmer highlighted the promise made by the fintech sector and regulators, people and actions that have fueled the growth of the sector.
Emmer also pointed out the OCC and its recent moves, which include clarity about how banks hold cryptocurrencies in custody. Under the Brooks administration, the OCC made two important explanations this year about the crypto space for banks, which allow the federal banks to hold cryptocurrencies and approve them to secure stable coin reserves.
Prior to his main question to Brooks, Emmer cited Jerome Powell’s dislike of the Fed chairman for the private development of digital assets. “Chairman Powell informed us at an earlier committee hearing that individuals and private sector innovations may have no place in the Fed’s view of the digital dollar.” Said Emmer. “This is worrying”.
“As a country, we have not yet recognized the important competitive aspect” Brooks told Emmer about the growth of digital assets. He cited China’s recent work and testing with its CBDC:
“In this country we are still years away from a national real-time payment system. I conclude that they have concluded that the best solution is to win, as the United States has always won, by unleashing the power of our innovative, dynamic and risky private sector. “