Former US President Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner was secretly pushing the White House for a cryptocurrency, reports say. It has come to the fore that Kushner, who was one of Trump’s senior advisors, was advocating for a US digital dollar, with the Federal Reserve to launch its own CBDC.
The 250-page dump of Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s crypto-related email correspondence highlights that Kushner sent him an email on May 29, 2019. He recommended for a group to be assembled for a US digital currency. The senior advisor wanted the group to brainstorm. The email contained a link to a blog post by Sam Altman, who is the CEO of OpenAI, about how the US government cannot stop cryptocurrency, but it can create a winner.
In the blog post, Altman says if the US launches its very own CBDC, it would have an enviable position in the future of the world. And Washington could exercise some degree of power over the global currency. Kushner said he believes it makes sense. It could ultimately change the way people payout entitlements and simultaneously save a ton in waste fraud and in transaction costs.
However, it should be noted that there was no reply from Mnuchin. As such, it is unclear as to whether the Treasury Secretary took action or not. But his team did show interest in other country’s crypto plans, such as Venezuela’s.
Since 2019, a number of countries have shown an inclination towards CBDC. And some have even rolled out successful pilot projects. According to research by the Atlantic Council, at least 87 countries are exploring a CBDC. This represents over 90% of the global GDP.
The idea has also been floated in the US among regulators and lawmakers. Jerome Powell, Federal Reserve Chairman, during a two-day congressional hearing in July 2021, said the main incentive for the US to eliminate crypto coins in America would be to launch its own CBDC. The chair believes that if US has its own digital currency, there wouldn’t be a need for stablecoins and cryptocurrencies.