There has been a steady growth in interest for cryptocurrencies and blockchain from governments, regulators, and enterprises. Now, the U.S. Federal Reserve is showing it too does not want to be left out after posting a job for a retail payments manager that will facilitate innovations research around digital currencies, stable coins, and distributed ledger technologies.
The role centers around the central bank’s retail payment services, which oversees automated clearinghouse services for the Federal Reserve, research in retail payments innovation, and addresses regulatory issues concerning retail payment systems.
Part of the job will include a look to the future of retail payments and how both digital currencies, and stablecoins, quickly becoming a favorite with banks and governments, can play a role in innovating retail payments.
Federal Reserve’s Race to Remain Relevant
It’s not the first time that cryptocurrencies have been brought up in the Central Bank’s plans around the globe. Of course, there is the well-publicized People’s Bank of China digital currency that will soon launch, but others have been mulling it over.
It has been suggested that 70 percent of central banks surveyed by the Bank for International Settlements are examining their options in launching their own digital currencies, albeit at different levels of experimentation and development.
This small mention of innovating with digital currencies and stablecoins from the U.S. Federal Reserve does not really spell a massive move towards cryptocurrencies as a whole, but it does at least point out that the Fed is not entirely being left behind in the growing ‘arms race.’
In fact, members of the United States House of Representatives Financial Services Committee recently asked the Federal Reserve whether there are any plans of launching a U.S. digital currency, in a letter.
Can the U.S. Catch Up?
While there are small indicators that the U.S. is not ready to entirely miss the boat on cryptocurrencies, the general sentiment from those more inclined to such innovations is that America is in danger of being left behind.
The stance that the U.S. Senate has taken towards Facebook’s Libra has been welcomed on one side but has also been called a potential missed opportunity on the other. Some Senators have been actively trying to bring the project down, while others have been spelling out Libra’s importance in the evolution of payments in the U.S.
A Growing Niche
One thing this job posting does show is that there is an increasing demand for people with cryptocurrency experience and know-how, even at the highest level. The post from the Federal Reserve is looking for someone with a master’s degree — preferably, seven years related experience, and enough insight into how cryptocurrencies can be integrated into retail payments.
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