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Blockchain technology is about to transform every trust-based interaction of our lives, from financial services to identity, from health care to our Internet of Things devices. In this podcast, host Laura Shin talks with industry pioneers across tech, financial services, health care, government and other sectors about how the blockchain and cryptocurrency will open up new opportunities for incumbents, startups and everyday people to interact more efficiently, directly and globally.

Jun 16, 2020

At an event at the NYU Stern School of Business, Christopher Giancarlo, former CFTC Chairman and co-founder of the Digital Dollar Foundation, discusses his proposal for a US central bank digital currency (CBDC), and how that fits into the broader geopolitical environment. We cover:

  • Why he has focused on pushing for a US digital dollar after leaving the CFTC
  • How a US CBDC would be different from other stablecoins
  • How the proposal is designed to build off of the traditional banking infrastructure
  • What pilot programs would look like
  • How a digital dollar would foster economic inclusion even though using the digital dollar requires owning a smartphone
  • How it would handle privacy
  • How the network would be secured
  • Whether the US is falling behind China in terms of central bank digital currencies and blockchain exploration
  • Whether Libra will be a proxy for the digital dollar
  • How COVID-19 has affected the discourse around a digital dollar
  • Whether the election will affect the future of the digital dollar

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Episode links: 

Chris Giancarlo:

Digital Dollar Project :

Previous Unchained interview with Chris: 

Chris and Daniel Gorfine’s WSJ op-ed advocating for a digital dollar:

Digital dollars in stimulus bills — March: 


Pew Research on smartphone adoption:

FDIC survey on the unbanked and underbanked:

Banks keeping some of customers’ stimulus money:

Why a digital dollar is politically more feasible at this moment than before:

Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown also proposes digital dollar: 

Philadelphia Fed paper:

Receptivity in Congress to the idea of a digital dollar:

Libra white paper:

Congressional hearing on using FedAccounts and for stimulus: