Fed Chair Powell met Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong and 'Crypto Dad' Chris Giancarlo at a time of heightened interest in digital coin trading
FedChair Jerome Powellmet CoinbaseCEO Brian Armstrongon May 11, a calendar entry shows.
- He also virtually met former CFTC chairman Chris Giancarlo, known as "
CryptoDad" for his early adoption of digital assets.
- The Fed is exploring issuing a digital dollar, with a paper detailing its implications due this summer.
Powell's schedule showed his in-person meeting with Armstrong, which included former House Speaker Paul Ryan, lasted 30 minutes. The crypto market saw wild trading activity around that time, with bitcoin's price reaching its highest volatility in a year in May.
Armstrong published a Twitter thread on May 15 about his meetings with politicians and agency heads, saying the "goal was to establish relationships and help answer questions about crypto." He indicated assistance on providing more regulatory clarity on the space as part of the newly formed Crypto Council for Innovation led by Coinbase, Square, Fidelity Investments, and Paradigm.
Coinbase is the largest US crypto exchange with about 56 million registered users that processes $335 billion in trading volume per quarter. It became the first such exchange to go public in April, trading under the ticker symbol "COIN" on the Nasdaq.
A separate virtual meeting with Giancarlo, who was dubbed "Crypto Dad" while serving as chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, took place on May 12. His chairmanship overlapped with new
Powell is overseeing the Fed's exploration of a digital version of the dollar that would be controlled by the central bank. The Fed plans to publish a paper this summer that will lay out the risks and opportunities associated with issuing a central bank digital currency (CBDC).
"We think it is important that any potential CBDC could serve as a complement to, and not a replacement of, cash and current private-sector digital forms of the dollar, such as deposits at commercial banks," Powell said in a statement in May.
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