Federal Reserve Vice Chair Barr Discusses CBDC Research and Advocates for Stablecoin Legislation

September 11, 2023


The digital currency realm is witnessing significant developments, especially with the Federal Reserve Bank’s recent insights into Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) research. Michael Barr, the Vice Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank, shared his perspectives at the Philadelphia Fed’s fintech event on September 8, 2023.

 Highlights of the Discussion 

Federal Reserve’s Role in Financial Innovation : Michael Barr emphasized the central bank’s commitment to research and supervision in the domain of financial innovation. He also highlighted the FedNow Service, which is a testament to the bank’s dedication to modern financial solutions.

 CBDC Research Update: Barr provided a comprehensive overview of the Federal Reserve’s ongoing research into CBDCs. He described the research as foundational, aiming to support a potential CBDC payments infrastructure or to enhance the existing payments system. Key areas of focus include system architecture for transaction recording, ownership ledgers, and tokenization models.

 Stablecoin Legislation: Barr expressed significant concerns regarding stablecoins, emphasizing the importance of robust federal oversight. He believes that stablecoins, which are pegged to the dollar, derive their trust from the central bank. Barr appreciated the current legislative efforts, stating that if non-federally regulated stablecoins become widely accepted for payments and as a store of value, they could pose substantial risks to financial stability, monetary policy, and the U.S. payments system.

FedNow Service: Introduced in July, the FedNow Service provides banks of all sizes with the infrastructure for 24-hour instant payments. While the current usage of the service remains limited, Barr believes it’s up to the depository institutions to popularize it.

 Novel Activities Supervision Program: Barr reminded the audience about the Fed’s recent introduction of a novel activities supervision program. This program allows federally supervised banks to receive “written supervisory non-objection” for their innovative activities, including those related to stablecoins. This initiative aligns with the policies of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC).


The insights shared by Michael Barr underscore the Federal Reserve’s proactive approach towards digital currencies and the broader fintech landscape. As the discussions around CBDCs and stablecoins continue to evolve, it’s crucial for stakeholders, including investors in alternative assets, to stay informed and prepared for the changing financial ecosystem.

*Note: This article is based on information from a https://cointelegraph.com/news/fed-vice-chair-barr-gives-update-cbdc-research-plugs-stablecoin-legislation and provides an overview of Michael Barr’s discussion on CBDC research and stablecoin legislation.*