U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren on Wednesday called on U.S. policymakers to directly tackle issues presented by the growing use of cryptocurrency, while saying a Federal Reserve-backed digital currency shows “great promise.”
Democrat Warren, a prominent Wall Street critic and consumer advocate, said cryptocurrency’s promise of boosting everyday Americans has failed to materialize, and instead the government must act to address a host of problems.
“Cryptocurrency has created opportunities to scam investors, assist criminals, and worsen the climate crisis,” she said at a congressional hearing. “The threats posted by crypto show that Congress and federal regulators can’t continue to hide out, hoping that crypto will go away. It won’t. It’s time to confront these issues head-on.”
Warren threw support behind the Federal Reserve’s consideration of a digital dollar, saying it could boost poorer Americans and streamline the payments system if properly designed.
However, Republicans struck a much warier tone, questioning whether such a Fed-backed product is even necessary and what it might mean for the traditional banking system.
“We don’t need a state-sponsored bank interfering with this successful free-enterprise system,” said Senator Pat Toomey, who instead urged continued growth of private digital currencies.