Barr Emphasizes Steep Barriers to Bank Crypto, Retail CBDC
In remarks today, FRB Vice Chair Barr reiterated that banks should take an extremely cautious approach when engaging with cryptoassets or counterparties and stressed the need to include stablecoins within the regulatory perimeter. For the first time, the Fed made it clear that, while it is open to DLT, smart-contract, and similar payment-system innovations, it is dubious that any will have near-term benefits and all require careful regulatory design.
Expected Battle Lines Form Over CFPB Future
As predicted, today’s HFSC Subcommittee hearing on the CFPB was a partisan and raucous session, with Republicans focusing most strongly on legal and constitutional issues around the Bureau’s funding and enforcement authority and Democrats defending both its legality and effectiveness. Much will come of this in terms of HFSC and floor votes, but we expect no statutory change in this Congress under this President.
Hill Sets Table for Bipartisan Crypto Action
Today’s Digital Assets Subcommittee hearing was considerably more conciliatory than the CFPB session earlier today, with Chairman Hill (R-AR) making clear in his opening statement that he is not launching a partisan attack against the SEC, the banking agencies, or the White House. He hopes instead to press bipartisan legislation, thanking former Chair Waters (D-CA) for her work on stablecoins and emphasizing the need not only for new law there, but also across the array of pending digital-asset questions.