Congressman Stephen Lynch (D-MA 8) and Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (D-MA 7) introduced a bill that would develop an electronic version of the U.S. dollar. “As digital payment and currency technologies continue to rapidly expand and with Russia, China, and over 90 countries worldwide already researching and launching some form of central bank digital currency, it is absolutely critical for the U.S. to remain a world leader in the development and regulation of digital currency and other digital assets,” said Rep. Lynch, Chairman of the Task Force on Financial Technology. “By establishing a pilot program within Treasury for the development of an electronic U.S. Dollar, the ECASH Act will greatly complement and advance ongoing efforts undertaken by the Federal Reserve and President Biden to examine potential design and deployment options for a digital dollar. Importantly, this pilot program will also preserve a role in our financial system for smaller anonymous cash-like transactions which are currently transacted in physical dollars and which have seen a rapid decline in use.”
The White House previously announced an executive order on March 9 instructing numerous federal agencies to study digital assets and provide numerous reports about their use and proposals that could regulate them. The hope of this legislation is to promote greater financial inclusion, maximize consumer protection and data privacy, and advance U.S. efforts to develop and regulate digital assets.