Fed governor took issue with recent suggestions for stablecoin regulation

Christopher Waller, a governor at the Federal Reserve, took issue with recent suggestions for stablecoin regulation in a November 17 speech.

Specifically, Waller was responding to a recent report on stablecoins from the President’s Working Group, a Treasury-led group of financial regulators. He described the report’s central push when it comes to the risks and rewards of stablecoins:

“The PWG report described one approach to that cost-benefit equation: restricting the issuance of ‘payment stablecoins’ to insured depository institutions and imposing strict limits on the behavior of wallet providers and other nonbank intermediaries.”

He did not object to banks becoming stablecoin issuers. The problem, Waller said, is that restricting issuance to banks reduces competition and ultimately payment efficiency:

“I disagree with the notion that stablecoin issuance can or should only be conducted by banks, simply because of the nature of the liability. I understand the attraction of forcing a new product into an old, familiar structure. But that approach and mindset would eliminate a key benefit of a stablecoin arrangement — that it serves as a viable competitor to banking organizations in their role as payment providers.”

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