John Williams, who is currently the head of the San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank said in a speech Friday that a currency should be “basically something with a store of value.” He added that currencies need to be elastic in order to support varying economic and financial conditions. Williams expressed concern over problems of illicit activity in the crypto community, saying:
“The setup or institutional arrangement around Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, first of all they have problems with fraud, problems with money laundering, terror financing. There’s lots of problems there… The idea of the supply of currency and thinking about currency really belongs more in the sphere of government and central banks. My view is it’s more a promise of technology.”
Williams, who has spent the majority of his career in central banking, has freely admitted that he is “very biased” against cryptocurrencies. Williams is expected to lead the New York Federal Reserve Bank in June, when current President William Dudley will step down.
Between the 12 regional federal banks in the US Federal Reserve System, the New York Federal Reserve Bank and its president are considered first among equals. The New York Fed is the largest by assets and the most active by volume. While US monetary policy is decided by the Federal Reserve Board of Governors in Washington DC, the New York Fed is where it is implemented.
The regulatory structure surrounding cryptocurrencies in the United States is still unclear, making it difficult for crypto businesses to know where they stand in the eyes of regulators. As Cointelegraph reported yesterday, some top investors have appealed to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to loosen regulations and provide exemptions on Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs).