Sheila Warren, CEO of the Crypto Innovation Council and former head of data, blockchain and digital assets at the World Economic Forum, said the digital yuan could pose some challenges for the United States. However, regulators and lawmakers may want to consider how they will encourage digital innovation, as China is already “widely technologically advanced” for its citizens.
Speaking to Cointelegraph during Austin’s SXSW festival, Warren said that while she doesn’t believe the Chinese digital yuan will have a significant impact on retail payments in the United States, her use of the technology could impact the dollar’s global dominance. The head of the CCI added that the Fed could take a “drastic step” to preserve the dollar’s role by introducing a central bank digital currency with wholesale use cases. However, China’s introduction of e-CNY could help set the standard for retail payments, whether or not other countries adopt the digital currency.
“American exceptionalism is no longer something we can hold on to — not with the growth of what is happening in Asia, Africa and around the world,” Warren said. “Innovation will flow where it can best develop, and active attempts to prevent it will encourage it to move elsewhere.”
“These things will be built. The question is where do we want them to be geographically and within what legal, regulatory, social and cultural systems that will favor certain types of apps and models over others.”
Sheila Warren (third from left) talks about financial control at the Cashless Society panel at SXSW 2022.
Warren said parts of the United States have adopted innovation-friendly regulatory and business models, including the Miami, Austin and Colorado areas. According to the head of the CCI, US President Joe Biden’s recent order to create a regulatory framework for cryptocurrency could be a “huge engine” of jobs and innovation.
“We need all [U.S.] cities to embrace innovative thinking,” Warren said. “That’s what’s happening in many parts of Asia [where] every city evaluates everything all the time.”
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Warren explored central bank digital currencies and promoted the use of blockchain technology during his tenure at the World Economic Forum, leaving in February to become CEO of the Crypto Innovation Council. The consortium of companies includes Coinbase, Gemini, Fidelity Digital Assets, Paradigm, Ribbit Capital, Andreessen Horowitz and Block.