On April 21, Cointelegraph hosted its first virtual Cointelegraph Talks meetup. The event consisted of two expert panels discussing major news and developments in the crypto world today, especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

What we heard on Greenback 2.0

The panel tackling the subject of a United States central bank-backed digital dollar, featured guests with backgrounds in crypto, software, finance, legal and monetary policy. 

Morgan Ricks is a professor at Vanderbilt Law and lead author of a paper on FedAccounts for digital dollars that helped shape recent bills proposing such accounts as a way to distribute COVID-19 stimulus. Ricks said:

“A few weeks ago as the stimulus legislation, or emergency response legislation has been in the sausage-making factory on Capitol Hill we got a lot of inbound inquiries about this as a mechanism to distribute stimulus dollars and we helped out on a lot of the legislative text on that.” 

CEO of Binance.US Catherine Coley also joined, bringing expertise on the crypto industry’s existing networks to bring payments to a broader range of users than federal monetary policy typically involves. She commented on a shift in thinking the current health crisis has brought about. “The mentality around dirty fiat is now very tangible,” she said. 

Regarding the Fed’s uncertain timeframe for adopting anything like the digital dollar, Coley said:

“Given that we can’t necessarily control how fast or slow or thoughtfully the Fed moves, we’re oftentimes taking this time to educate our retail audience.”

International competition for national digital currencies

Calling in from Tokyo was Adam Traidman, CEO of BRD and SBI Mining. Traidman was confident that the race is on for nations looking to upgrade their financial infrastructure and set the pace for future global developments: “In five years time, anyone who wants to do business with China is going to have to support the digital RNB.” He emphasized the importance of COVID-19 in bringing this to the public’s attention:

“I firmly believe that the situation globally, with the Coronavirus and the potential for the digital U.S. dollar or other national digital currencies, is by far the most impactful thing that’s ever happened in the crypto industry.” 

The discussion touched on a broad range of issues that for now are waiting for next steps from regulators in the U.S. as well as other countries working on central bank digital currencies — especially China.

Missed the panel? Check it out on Youtube here, or watch it below.