Sunayna: Yes. The Fed employs over 5,000 technologists. We are a massive technology business. Think of all of the payment rails that the Fed runs and supports every day. Behind the scenes, there are product leaders, technologists, AI developers, and scrum teams that are making sure we are building, scaling, and operating these systems with efficiency.
Ric: The U.S. Treasury is still printing money. Why has it not moved to a digital dollar? Seems like everything else in commerce has gone to an electronic format. Tell us about the Fed’s attitude about a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC). Is the Fed working on it?
Sunayna: You know, it is not a binary answer of should we, or shouldn’t we? There’s a whole list of questions that we’re still grappling with. Earlier this year, we published a whitepaper, Money and Payments: The U.S. Dollar in the Age of Digital Transformation (see sidebar) to foster a broad and transparent public dialogue about CBDCs in general, and about the potential benefits and risks of a U.S. CBDC.
Ric: Even if everything were to go well and the Fed indeed wants to launch a CBDC, what’s the earliest that a digital dollar could actually be implemented?
Sunayna: My personal conjecture and assumption is that I think a five-year mark seems like a logical starting point, because there’s so much that needs to be interrogated and it’s not a unilateral decision by the Fed.
Ric: Many people will be surprised to hear you say that. I think a lot of folks would assume that this isn’t something that would happen for decades. My point is, I think we all need to recognize that digital money is in our future.
Sunayna: Yes, the future is very exciting. How often do you get to think about these macro questions and maybe shape them? There’s something happening here, and we need to be thinking about it and doing something with it. I think people are starting to figure out what are those killer apps that are going to come out of this technology and ecosystem. And that’s one of the most encouraging signals.
Ric: Thank you Sunayna.
For the full interview, watch it on The Truth About Your Future.