Janet Yellen and Central Bankers Ponder Bitcoin and Blockchains

The Federal Reserve’s Janet Yellen reportedly bolstered financial technology with her colleagues and a group of digital currency and blockchain advocates this past week. An event that took place in the Eccles Building had an audience of central banking authorities from 90 countries learning about fintech, Bitcoin, and blockchain.

The conference at the Federal Reserve in Washington called “Finance in Flux: The Technological Transformation of the Financial Sector,” had industry members from many firms within the fintech space including a keynote speech from the CEO of the blockchain-based company Chain. Adam Ludwin, the chief executive officer of Chain, gave the Federal Reserve’s Chair and her associates a description of distributed ledger technology and how it will transform banking today. According to Bloomberg he told the central bank attendees:

“The real golden opportunity, the thing you should be working toward, is central bank digital currency, the development of the Internet and microprocessors had crucial government support. That’s where blockchain is today. At the infrastructure stage, it’s almost always the government that plays a leading role as the creator or backer of the technology.”

federalreserveIn a press statement from the Chamber of Digital Commerce Ludwin also stated that Blockchain technology would provide officials and central bankers new tools that will benefit the financial markets when it comes to safety. Financial institutions would “gain real-time transparency to measure systemic leverage and monitor compliance.” The Chain CEO also alluded to the central banks issuing digital currencies creating new payment networks with superior security, settlement time, and new innovative concepts.

The Chamber of Digital Commerce founder Perianne Boring told the central banking audience the great attributes of blockchain technology as well during the event. Boring encouraged the attendees to focus on distributed ledgers and said, “we believe blockchain technologies are capable of providing the Fed and other regulators with next generation tools to fulfill their mission of monitoring the safety and soundness of the financial system more effectively,”

Bitcoin developer and CEO of Bloq Jeff Garzik met with the group of banking executives as well describing the many benefits of immutability and cryptography. Garzik told the crowd, “Some of the greatest potential benefits of blockchain technology are going to be first seen and actively leveraged in emerging nations.” The Chamber of Digital Commerce press release states the blockchain advocate group was pleased with the outcome, and senior officials showed a “high level of interest in blockchain technology.”

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen is no stranger to Bitcoin as she has said in the past the central bank has no authority over the cryptocurrency. While testifying before the Senate Banking Committee Ms. Yellen stated, “The Federal Reserve simply does not have authority to supervise or regulate bitcoin in any way, this is a payment innovation that is taking place entirely outside the banking industry and to the best of my knowledge there is no intersection at all.” Last week’s event reportedly had the Federal Reserve official talking cryptocurrency again as well as distributed ledger technology. Perianne Boring told American Banker:  

“The fact that the words bitcoin and blockchain were spoken by Chairwoman Yellen in a positive context highlights the importance of emerging financial technology,”


Source: Chamber of Digital Commerce, Bloomberg, and American Banker

Images: Chamber of Digital Commerce, and Wiki Commons

About Jamie Redman

Jamie Redman is a financial tech journalist from Florida thats been entrenched in the cryptocurrency community since 2011. He has a passion for Bitcoin, open source code, and decentralized applications. Redman has written hundreds of articles about the disruptive protocols emerging today.