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Fed Governor highlights benefits, risks of tokenization and smart contracts Fed Governor highlights benefits, risks of tokenization and smart contracts

Fed Governor highlights benefits, risks of tokenization and smart contracts

Governor Waller stated that tokenization and smart contracts have the potential to increase the efficiency of financial transactions

Fed Governor highlights benefits, risks of tokenization and smart contracts

Cover art/illustration via CryptoSlate. Image includes combined content which may include AI-generated content.

Federal Reserve Governor Christopher Waller is optimistic about the potential of tokenization and smart contracts to increase the efficiency of traditional financial transactions. Yet, he also highlighted that these innovative technologies carry risks of their own, particularly in relation to cyber security.

During his speech on “Innovation and the Future of Finance” at the Cryptocurrency and the Future of Global Finance event on April 20, Waller highlighted the benefits of smart contracts in improving efficiency in the financial sector.

According to Waller, firms have been experimenting with blockchain technology and smart contracts to carry out foreign-exchange trades with the aim of enhancing efficiency.

He stated:

“In fact, private sector institutions are testing use cases to better understand the benefits and risks of this technology. Firms have executed foreign-exchange trades using blockchain technology with smart contracts in an attempt to improve efficiencies.

Waller stated that the participants engaged in transactions could enjoy greater flexibility in terms of the settlement time. Furthermore, he highlighted that blockchain’s atomic settlement function could function as a crucial risk reducer.

He illustrated this point by referring to repurchase agreements, where the “seller” of repo collateral could be assured of receiving the specified loan amount, while the “buyer” could be confident about receiving the specified collateral.

Tokenization and smart contracts don’t come without risks

The Fed Governor recognized that the adoption of smart contracts and tokenization poses risks, including bugs, cyber threats, and settlement risks.

However, he expressed his optimism about the potential of these technologies to improve the efficiency of traditional financial transactions. He also expressed his excitement to see the private sector’s innovations in enhancing transaction processes.

Waller also spoke about the potential of tokenization and AI to play a prominent role in banking and the economy. However, he did not touch upon any monetary policy-related issues.

These remarks were made as part of his overall message of embracing innovation in the financial sector, while also recognizing the need to carefully consider potential risks and challenges.

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