On March 23, news broke out that the US Congress had included the development of a digital dollar as one solution to the worsening global financial crisis catalyzed by the coronavirus pandemic. Notably, the proposal was included in the economic stimulus that aims to expand economic inclusion amidst these difficult times. It was reported as well that it would require Federal Reserves’ banks to host wallets for the digital dollar. However, in an update introduced by the House of Representatives’ Democratic leadership dubbed “Take Responsibility for Workers and Families Act,” the plan about the creation of a digital dollar had been scrapped. What made matters more interesting is that the updated bill has over 1400 pages.
But while the majority of the Democrat representatives removed the idea of digital dollar development from their longer stimulus bill, California representative Maxine Waters remained firm. She emphasized the need to implement the initial proposal. She talked about the responsibility of government officials, particularly during this time where an unprecedented crisis is hitting the globe. Waters also called on the US House and Senate to reconsider the nation, the economy, and the people in their impending stimulus package.
Fortunately for Waters, one senator supports her proposal. Senator Sherrod Brown from Ohio, who is also a Banking Committee ranking member, released a draft bill that includes the development of a digital dollar.
Senator Brown explained that he is not suggesting the creation of a crypto dollar, but a digital version of the US currency. Notably, this section had been proposed as well by Chris Giancarlo, the former chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, in hopes of maintaining the country’s financial hegemony. The senator also explained that the dollar balances would consist of entries on the digital ledger, which represented liabilities in any Federal Reserve’s bank account. He even suggested that such digital wallets should be called FedAccounts.
Notably, everyone would be allowed to set up their respective FedAccount, which can then be used to make payments and receive money, which would be accessible at post offices and local banks. As emphasized by the senator, these free accounts can also be used to distribute relief funds to US residents, a move that is highly critical amidst the global attack of COVID-19.