(Bloomberg) — Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell, who is presiding over the central bank’s examination of digital currencies, met with the head of cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase Global Inc. on May 11 and crypto advocate Christopher Giancarlo a day later, the Fed chair’s monthly diary shows.
Powell’s in-person meeting with Coinbase Chief Executive Officer Brian Armstrong and former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Paul Ryan lasted 30 minutes, his schedule in May shows. The meeting took place during a week of intense volatility for crypto currencies including Bitcoin, which fell steeply on that day.
Spokespeople for both the Fed and Coinbase declined to comment on what was discussed.
Coinbase is the largest U.S. crypto exchange and its initial public offering earlier this year supercharged theories that crypto had made it to the investing mainstream.
Powell’s meeting on May 12 with Giancarlo, the former chairman of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission and director of the Digital Dollar Project, was virtual and also lasted 30 minutes.
The meetings took place as the Fed digs deeper on the digital dollar. It will publish a discussion paper on central bank digital currencies this summer.
“We are committed at the Federal Reserve to hearing a wide range of voices on this important issue before making any decision on whether and how to move forward with a U.S. CBDC,” Powell said in a statement on May 20, a few days after his meetings.
Powell also said he wants the Fed to play “a leading role” in the development of international standards. Central banks around the world — most notably the People’s Bank of China — are moving ahead with digital currencies, which could give them a head-start in how standards develop partly because they have actual experience.
(Updates with Bitcoin fall on May 11 in second paragraph.)
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