Donald Trump is widely expected to appoint a new chairperson of the Federal Reserve in the coming days. At the moment, the smart money is on former Fed governor Jerome Powell. Like almost everyone who is involved in the finance industry, Powell has shared his opinions on Bitcoin in the past and its safe to say that he’s not a huge fan of Bitcoin or the concept of cryptocurrencies in general.
“I have nothing against Bitcoin”
While Powell is a cryptocurrency sceptic, he is not a zealot in the same league as JPMorgan chief executive Jamie Dimon. He has gone as far in the past as to state that he “has nothing against Bitcoin” but that due to his belief that cryptocurrencies were widely associated with money laundering and other illegal activity, he was generally sceptical of them. However, it does not appear that Powell would be keen to push for tighter regulation of Bitcoin. This is partly because that responsibility in the US largely rests with the Department of the Treasury, but also due to previous comments he has made on behalf of the Federal Reserve, which stated that they are “neither for nor against cryptocurrencies.”
Will Powell be issuing digital dollars?
One area where Powell has been much more robust is the idea of the Federal Reserve issuing its own cryptocurrency. He has described himself as “very cautious” about the suggestion and has pointed out a number of problems with the idea that would, at the very least, make it difficult to implement in current circumstances –
principally, the high level of alignment between various arms of government that would be required to get such a project off the ground. At a time where Congress is struggling to pass major legislation on other matters, it seems unlikely that there will be any drive to do this in the near future.