• Timothy Massad
  • Howell Jackson


March 10, 2022, Opinion: "As public debate heats up over whether the United States should create a central bank digital currency (CBDC), there is another option that deserves consideration:  Treasury Accounts.  The Treasury Department could, relatively quickly, create digital accounts to provide payment services that would be especially valuable to unbanked and underbanked individuals.  These accounts might not possess all the technological advances of a full-blown CBDC, but they would be much easier to establish and could be implemented now under existing statutory authority.  Importantly, Treasury Accounts could immediately improve access to financial services for the millions of Americans who have limited access to banking services today and also greatly facilitate the distribution of federal benefit programs to all Americans.  Treasury Accounts are not an alternative to CBDCs but rather a faster, easier way to achieve some of the primary objectives of those who favor creating a CBDC.  The creation of Treasury Accounts would represent a concrete step forward in the Treasury Department’s efforts “to unlock the unrealized potential of underserved communities,” an initiative the Department announced in connection with Secretary Yellen’s appointment of the Department’s first counselor for racial equity last Fall."  Read Via Brookings

HKS MRCBG Research Fellow - Tim Massad
Non-HKS Harvard Author Website - Howell Jackson