US Federal Reserve looking for manager to research digital currencies

The United States Federal Reserve is seeking to hire a manager who will among other things, contribute to the bank’s research in digital currencies and distributed ledger technology. The banking industry regulator has been warming up to the idea of applying blockchain and issuing a digital currency, and this serves as its clearest indication of interest in the technology.

The job opening, which has since been taken down, sought to find a manager for the Fed’s retail payments section. This is the division that oversees check and automated clearinghouse services, looks into the regulatory issues concerning payments and conducts research in retail payments.

However, the job post has been expanded and will require the manager to delve into DLT and digital currencies, with the successful candidate expected to be in charge of “facilitating and contributing to innovations research including digital currencies, stable coins, distributed ledger technologies, and broadly financial/digital innovation in retail payments.”

The manager will also be expected to actively contribute to the formulation of regulations relating to retail payments. The role is based in Washington, with the manager expected to earn up to $250,700 per year.

The new hire comes after China made a similar move. The Asian country launched a recruitment drive that sought to bring in the best talent in the country for its Digital Currency Research Institute. As CoinGeek reported, China’s efforts to launch its own CBDC accelerated after Facebook announced its Libra project. If it launches—although it’s looking like it won’t—Libra could give the U.S. a bigger stranglehold on the global economy as the Libra tokens will mostly be backed by U.S. dollars. China has been fighting to challenge the dollar’s dominance, and with global commerce being mostly digital, the CBDC could help China with its push.

While many U.S. regulators haven’t been too crypto-friendly, the Fed has kept an open mind. The chairman, Jerome Powell, has called on other regulators to formulate enabling crypto regulations, stating that it’s time the government took digital currencies more seriously.

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