Fed's Powell: More important for U.S. to get digital currency right than be first

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FILE PHOTO: Senate's Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs hearing
FILE PHOTO: Senate's Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs hearing

(Reuters) - In any development of a cross-border digital currency, it is more important for the United States "to get it right than be first," U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said on Monday.

"We do think it's more important to get it right than to be first and getting it right means that we not only look at the potential benefits of a CBDC, but also the potential risks, and also recognize the important trade offs that have to be thought through carefully," Powell said in a panel discussion of digital payments hosted by the International Monetary Fund.

Powell said it is vital the Fed assess what impact a CBDC might have on a range of critical issues, including monetary policy, financial stability, cyber-security and preventing illicit activity.

(Reporting By Dan Burns; Additional reporting by Tom Wilson in London; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)