According to central bank records, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell met with Brian Armstrong, CEO of bitcoin exchange Coinbase in May.
The event took place on May 11 and was one of just two meetings the Fed chairman held with CEOs throughout the month. The other one that month was with Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase, the largest bank in the United States in terms of assets.
Powell’s discussion with Armstrong comes as cryptocurrency trading has come under more scrutiny as prices for digital coins have skyrocketed. Rapid increases in cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Dogecoin have been connected to inflationary worries, which have been linked to easy Fed monetary policy.
The Fed is also investigating its own central bank digital currency, with a report on the implications expected out this summer. However, some senior central bank officials have recently expressed concerns about the need for a CBDC.
Fed Governor Randal Quarles recently said in prepared remarks to the Utah Bankers Association that,
The potential benefits of a Federal Reserve CBDC are unclear, conversely, a Federal Reserve CBDC could pose significant and concrete risks.
The session with Powell and Armstrong was also attended by former House Speaker Paul Ryan. Around the same time, Armstrong met with several Washington political officials. He posted a photo of himself with Ryan and another with current House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on May 14. The encounter with Powell was not mentioned in a 21-part thread Armstrong provided on the visits.
The Fed’s attempt to create a digital currency is anticipated to be a topic of discussion during the Armstrong-Powell meeting, as it has been at previous sessions.
Coinbase is the biggest cryptocurrency exchange in the United States, with 56 million verified users and $223 billion in assets on its platform. It became the first cryptocurrency exchange to go public in April, listing its shares on the Nasdaq immediately. On Friday, Coinbase shares were trading around $241.
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