As part of the virtual conference Consensus 2020, three leaders of the Digital Dollar Project held an "ask me anything" session on Monday in which they went at length into their thoughts on the future of money in the United States.

The speakers and the project

The AMA featured J. Christopher Giancarlo and Daniel Gorfine, the former chairman of and the former head of the financial technology wing at the Commodities and Futures Trading Commission, respectively. The two spoke to Cointelegraph at the end of March as lawmakers began looking at a digital currency to distribute COVID-19 stimulus funds.

Today’s panel also included David Treat, an executive at Accenture, which has partnered with the Digital Dollar Project. 

Nicely summarizing the goals of the project, Giancarlo said, “We will do everything possible to make the dollar serve as well as it possibly could in the 21st century.”

CBDCs and privacy

Within the crypto community, there is a fair amount of concern that any prospective digital dollar, or central bank digital currency elsewhere, would threaten the privacy present with cash.

In terms of Know Your Customer policies, Treat commented that “the distribution end points of the digital dollar are a key part of the policy decisions that we’re in the midst of now.”

“You can set certain thresholds and limits,” said Gorfine, referring to the $10,000 rule for cash transactions that the government tracks. “You can draw from a lot of the analogues that we currently deploy with physical cash.”

Though adamant that the Digital Dollar Project takes no position on other countries’ CBDC projects, Giancarlo alluded to concerns over China’s human rights abuses and its planned digital renminbi: “If the US dollar can actually offer features of privacy that other sovereign currencies might not, this would further strengthen the role of the dollar.”

Only a matter of time? 

During the livestreamed AMA, Consensus polled viewers. According to one question that asked about when to expect widespread usage of a digital dollar, 42% of those polled said in three years, while 32% said in five. Only 7% said never.

Consensus began earlier today with a speech from a representative of the European Central Bank on the topic of CBDCs. The subject seems to have captured the imagination of regulators around the world.