The chief official was on sympathetic ears at an event hosted by the Atlantic Council on the question Wednesday, with only three months left for the Office of Science and Technology to report to President Joe Biden on the cybersecurity risks and benefits of creating a central bank digital currency, according to an executive order issued in March.
Carol House, director of cybersecurity and secure digital innovation at the National Security Council, said she was “very excited for the committee to examine some of the key issues related to design, technology and governance choices that we need to consider in considering developments to the US Convention on Biological Diversity, as well as working with our international partners.” .
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The pressure to explore a potential central bank digital currency has increased, along with estimates of the market value of non-state digital currencies.
Proponents also argued that greater interoperability could help disadvantaged people more easily access cross-border transactions, including remittances and financing not available to them through traditional banking.
“We need strong protections. We also need to confront the way our financial system has worked and not work with certain consumers and make sure we get fair, inclusive and efficient services,” House said.
“That is why in the United States we are attaching the utmost urgency to researching the potential advantages of a US central bank digital currency, continuing to build on the many years of efforts that have been taken out of the Federal Reserve,” he added.
The Federal Reserve and other relevant agencies including the Treasury Department — where the House worked to enforce regulations on virtual currencies prior to its transition to the White House — will cooperate with the OSTP in reporting cybersecurity considerations within 180 days of the March 9 order being issued.
“Recent events and major incidents such as SolarWinds, Microsoft Exchange hack, Colonial Pipeline and Log4J, all of these illustrate the need for action to improve the cybersecurity posture of federal networks as well as critical infrastructure,” House said.
He pointed out that any potential future CBDCs will certainly be considered part of that critical infrastructure and need to account for the measures we need to put in place to better secure the integrity of our software supply chain.
The Atlantic Council’s comprehensive report does not make any specific recommendations, but does offer several principles for consideration among which speakers who spoke at the event emphasized the importance – and opportunity – of designing a system that prioritizes privacy and minimizes personal data from the start.
“If you build a CBDC that collects information about the financial transactions of every person in a country, that database becomes a very valuable target,” said Julia Fante, an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at Carnegie Mellon University, who co-authored the report. .
“So by building this kind of really high-value target, we could potentially increase the security risk also by creating a target not only for violations by the central bank, but also by outside hackers. Article”.