Currency

Digital dollar needs broad consensus among authorities, says US Treasury Secretary

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has given her opinions on the potential of a digital dollar but is hesitant to come to any conclusions at this stage in proceedings. Yellen said on Thursday that she had not formed a view on whether the Federal Reserve should create a digital version of the dollar, but such a move would require broad consensus among Congress, the U.S. central bank and the White House.

This follows the recent reports that the Federal Reserve is currently researching whether an electronic version of the greenback would be beneficial. Yellen said that she sees both pros and cons to the digital dollar. Although she does have thoughts on its implementation, she feels more research needs to be done before coming up with any definite answers.

According to Yellen, the advantages of a central bank digital currency need further study, including its effects on banking institutions.

In contrast, Federal Reserve Governor Lael Brainard, whom President Biden has chosen for vice-chair of the US central bank, has called for urgency in establishing a digital dollar. She suggested that she can’t fathom not having one when China and other nations are developing their own central bank digital currencies, which she considers a race to the top…read more.

Bitcoin too volatile to be adopted as legal tender, says BoE chief

Bank of England governor Andrew Bailey has expressed concerns over El Salvador’s adoption of Bitcoin (BTC) as legal tender after President Nayib Bukele announced the launch of Bitcoin City.

Bailey argued that ​​El Salvador’s decision to adopt Bitcoin as a currency was alarming because consumers are likely to suffer from the cryptocurrency’s extreme volatility.

Trading around $43,000 on the first day of El Salvador’s Bitcoin adoption as legal tender, Bitcoin surged to a new historical high above $68,000 on Nov. 9. BTC’s price has significantly tumbled since then, with Bitcoin trading at $54,626 at the time of writing.

“It concerns me that a country would choose it as its national currency,” Bailey said at the Cambridge University student union appearance, Bloomberg reported on Thursday.

The governor also questioned whether Salvadorans understand the nature and the volatility of Bitcoin at all, which causes his biggest concern…read more.

Hillary Clinton: Regulate crypto to stop manipulation by Russia and China

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said that cryptocurrency markets need stronger regulations to protect against technological manipulation by Russia, China and others.

Her comments on cryptocurrency were part of a larger segment in a Wednesday interview with MSNBC TV news host Rachel Maddow on the manipulation of social media platforms by certain nations.

Clinton’s warning extended to “technology of all kinds,” which she said states and non-state entities could use to destabilize countries and the dollar as the reserve currency of the world. She said, “There’s one other thing that’s on the horizon, which people are only beginning to pay attention to, and that’s the need to regulate the cryptocurrency market.”

“Imagine the combination of social media, the amassing of even larger sums of money through the control of certain cryptocurrency chains,” she said…read more.

You shall not pass: Tolkien estate blocks ‘The Lord of the Rings’ JRR Token

The Lord of the Rings-themed “JRR Token” has met a “bag end” after being forced to close up shop following legal action from the family and estate of the famed series’ author. J.R.R. Tolkien, who died in 1973.

On Tuesday, Law360 reported that the Tolkien Estate had reached a settlement with Florida-based developer Matthew Jensen over his JRR Token, which was launched in August this year. According to BSCScan, the BEP-20 token is only held by 510 addresses, with a market supply of 19 trillion.

According to the settlement, Jensen promised to shut down the token and delete any content that infringes the estate’s trademark rights to the J.R.R. Tolkien name and intellectual property relating to The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. He also agreed to pay the estate’s legal costs, which were undisclosed.

The JRR Token’s Twitter account, YouTube channel and website have since been deleted.

The estate’s lawyer, Steve Maier, described the case as a “particularly flagrant case of infringement,” adding that the estate is “pleased that it has been concluded on satisfactory terms.”

This comes after the estate successfully recovered the website domain name “jrrtoken.com” after filing a complaint with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) on Aug. 10 — only four days after Billy Boyd, the actor who played Pippin, endorsed the token in a 40-second YouTube cameo on Aug. 4…read more.

Is US politics divisive enough to make crypto a partisan issue?

As the perceived legitimacy of blockchain technology increases, politicians in the United States have shown a growing interest in turning this non-partisan technology into a topic of political divisiveness.

Speaking via video to an audience of the Bloomberg New Economy Forum in Singapore on Friday, former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said while cryptocurrencies were an “interesting” technology, they also had the power to undermine the U.S. dollar and destabilize nations — “perhaps starting with small ones but going much larger.” While no longer the leader of the Democratic Party, Clinton’s sentiment on crypto resembles that of top Democrat and senator Elizabeth Warren, who has often criticized the crypto market during committee hearings.

Clinton’s comments came while discussing Russian President Vladimir Putin, whom she accused of being behind a disinformation and cyberwarfare campaign — seemingly also referring to ransomware attacks and some of the crypto payments associated with them. While the former presidential candidate’s intentions are unknown, a prominent Democratic voice like Clinton’s further connecting Russia to a seemingly apolitical financial tool like crypto may have the potential to do damage among U.S. lawmakers trying to enact policy on both sides of the aisle…read more.