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Fed will launch a broad discussion of a digital dollar this summer, Powell says

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The Federal Reserve will ramp up its exploration of a digital dollar later this summer, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell announced on Thursday.

In order to “help stimulate broad conversation,” the Fed will issue a discussion paper this summer outlining the central bank’s “current thinking” on digital payments and the benefits and tradeoffs of a central bank digital currency, or CBDC, Powell said in a statement.

The Fed has already been exploring the benefits and tradeoffs of a digital currency for the past several years, Powell said.

Last summer, a team at the Boston Fed started to work with researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to find out what it would take to build a U.S.-backed digital currency.

A Fed-backed digital dollar wouldn’t be a cryptocurrency based on decentralized blockchain, the ledger-based technology that underpins traditional digital currencies like bitcoin 

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