The Honorable Michael Kratsios,
United States Chief Technology Officer
Office of Science and Technology Policy
Executive Office of the President
Eisenhower Executive Office Building
1650 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, D.C. 20504
Re: National Strategy for Critical and Emerging Technologies (NSCET)
Dear Mr. Kratsios,
I write on behalf of the Digital Dollar Project to commend and comment on the recently published National Strategy for Critical and Emerging Technologies, which outlines how the United States will promote and protect its competitive edge within emerging technology-driven fields.
By introduction, the Digital Dollar Project (DDP) was founded in January of this year with the purpose and objective to recognize the geo-political and -economic importance of the U.S. dollar and simultaneously prioritize the need to modernize it in an increasingly competitive digital world. The DDP’s mission is to advance the exploration of the United States Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC). Our open and deliberative process will encourage research, testing, and public discussion of a digital dollar’s advantages, costs, risks, and design considerations.
We commend the strategic vision documented in the NSCET. We strongly agree with the importance of establishing the United States as a leader in critical and emerging technologies, an area in which our country has been an influencer and leader for the better part of the past century. American global leadership rests on the fundamentals of how we approach critical, world-changing initiatives.
Highlighted in the first pillar of the NSCET’s framework are critical principles that have driven much of the DDP’s work and should be the foundation of an on-going collaboration to develop a U.S. CBDC. A few principles that we commend and support are the following.
I. Leverage private capital and expertise to build and innovate
II. Encourage public-private partnerships
III. Increase priority of research and development (R&D) in developing United States Government budgets
IV. Lead the development of worldwide technology norms, standards, and governance models that reflect democratic values and interests
V. Develop and adopt advanced technology applications within the government and improve the desirability of the government as a customer of the private sector
VI. Encourage state and local governments to adopt similar actions
In the spirit of the NSCET’s principles, we at the DDP see a critical opportunity for the United States to be a leader in advancing a CBDC, which would ensure our democratic values are sustained and enshrined in the future of money. Earlier this year, I had the honor to represent the Digital Dollar Project in testimony before three congressional committees, including the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs committee, where I made the case for the U.S. Treasury and the Federal Reserve to test and explore a U.S. CBDC through a series of nine potential pilot projects. We hope the Administration will support appropriate legislation to authorize the U.S. Treasury and the Federal Reserve to collaborate and work towards developing and implementing several pilots to explore and find appropriate solutions to key areas of concern to the American public, such as: privacy, cyber resilience, financial inclusion, and interoperability, to mention a few. These pilots can be conducted nationally or discretely through local routes.
For example, a pilot program could functionally test the treasury management and security benefits for small businesses over physical cash handling, as well as the cost benefits from minimizing card processing fees and longer settlement times. Overall, a pilot could work with retailers and card networks to prove that a CBDC could potentially be more cost effective, efficient, convenient, secure, or inclusive than account-based alternatives.
There are few opportunities better fit for the definition of Critical and Emerging Technologies than the U.S. dollar’s modernization. By developing a tokenized central bank digital currency, the United States can lead the world in this innovation sector for the next century to come. The time is now to establish pilot programs and lead in the exploration and advancement of this path-breaking technology.
J. Christopher Giancarlo