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Federal Reserve governor Lael Brainard. Photo: Taylor Glascock/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Despite much fanfare in recent months, the U.S. looks to have made minimal progress on the development of or consensus around a central bank digital currency (CBDC), despite advances from other central banks, including China's.

Driving the news: Fed governor Lael Brainard, who is leading efforts on a digital currency as the governor in charge of financial stability, delivered a speech on Monday detailing the state of research and development on CBDCs in the U.S. but provided little new information.

  • She also continued to highlight potential risks like financial system fragmentation and consumer protection and financial stability risks.

Between the lines: Brainard occasionally deviated from her prepared remarks during her appearance at CoinDesk’s Consensus 2021 event, including a mention that it was important for Fed policymakers "to follow many central banks' progress on CBDC closely — including China."

  • She also stressed that "we are at the table" as she noted, "Given the potential for CBDCs to gain prominence in cross-border payments and the reserve currency role of the dollar, it is vital for the United States to be at the table in the development of cross-border standards."

State of play: The Fed is behind other central banks in developing a digital currency, and not just China, which began testing a digital version of the renminbi with brick-and-mortar retailers last year and recently expanded to include the e-renminbi in digital wallets linked to Alibaba's Ant Group.

  • Sweden's Riksbank is testing a digital e-krona, and the Bank of Japan is testing a digital yen.

What's next: Fed chair Jerome Powell recently announced that the Fed would issue a discussion paper "outlining our current thinking" on digital currencies in July.

Go deeper

AOC, Tlaib and Pressley urge Biden to replace Fed chair Powell

Jerome Powell, chair of the U.S. Federal Reserve. Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) and Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) are calling on President Biden to replace Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell with someone more focused on "eliminating climate risk and advancing racial and economic justice," according to a joint statement reported by Politico.

Driving the news: Powell's term will end in early 2022, though some economists have said Biden will likely reappoint him.

60 mins ago - World

Blinken to visit Ukraine as Russia invasion threat looms

Blinken (R) with President Zelensky. Photo: Efrem Lukatsky/Pool via Getty

Secretary of State Antony Tony Blinken will travel to Ukraine on Tuesday as the country faces an ongoing threat of Russian invasion.

Driving the news: Blinken will meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, as well as officials at the U.S. embassy in Kyiv to discuss contingency planning. He'll then travel to Berlin to meet German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock and attend a meeting of the "Transatlantic Quad" — France, Germany, the U.K. and U.S.

Updated 1 hour ago - World

At least 3 dead after Tonga volcano eruption and tsunami

A satellite image of the explosive eruption of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai volcano on Saturday. Photo: UNICEF/NOAA

At least three people are confirmed to have died in Tonga following the undersea volcanic eruption that sent tsunami waves toward the island nation and across the Pacific over the weekend, officials said Tuesday.

The big picture: Officials reported major damage along the western coast of the main island of Tongatapu, where the capital, Nuku'alofa, was covered in ash and dust, including on the runway of the airport. Officials in Tonga confirmed three deaths in the country's first official statement since the crisis began.