The U.S. Federal Reserve is hiring a manager to oversee its traditional payments section, while adding new responsibilities to the role, including researching how to integrate digital currencies, stablecoins and distributed ledger technologies.
For months, the central bank’s governors have been hinting at its broader interest in understanding and even issuing a digital currency in the face of corporate stablecoin proposals and national coins abroad, but this hire appears to be the first human resources investment made by the Fed towards integrating the technology into its existing systems.
In a job posted to the Fed’s website on Monday, the role, to be based in Washington, D.C., would manage the Fed’s Retail Payments Section, overseeing check and automated clearinghouse services, facilitating research in retail payments innovation, and addressing policy and regulatory issues concerning retail payment systems.
But besides work related to traditional check payments, automated clearing house (ACH), and cards, the new role would also be charged with:
Facilitating and contributing to innovations research including digital currencies, stable coins, distributed ledger technologies, and broadly financial/digital innovation in retail payments.
In addition to digital currency research, the candidate would contribute to policy and regulations related to retail payments and represent the Board of Governors views with other Board divisions, reserve banks and government agencies.
The highest salary the new hire would be eligible for would be $250,700.
Last month, two U.S. lawmakers sent a letter to Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, asking the Fed to consider creating a digital currency. The move came after Bank of England governor Mark Carney suggested in August that a central bank-supported digital currency could replace the dollar as the global hedge currency.
Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas President Rob Kaplan has said that the reserve has been studying the potential impact of a Libra-style stablecoin and is “actively looking at and debating” issuance of a digital currency.
The Fed’s study of digital currencies comes just as China’s central bank, the People’s Bank of China, announced that it was close to launching its own digital currency. Mu Changchun, deputy director of the payments unit at the central bank, argued that the digital currency would boost circulation of the Chinese yuan internationally.
A Fed spokesperson could not provide more information about the job posting.
Federal Reserve image via Shutterstock