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The Idea Of A Federal Cryptocurrency Was Suggested By Jared Kushner


Former President Donald Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who served as a top adviser to Trump during his presidency, was reportedly interested in the notion of the federal government creating a cryptocurrency in 2018. According to a Freedom of Information Act request from CoinDesk, Kushner asked then-US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin if he could have a group of people “brainstorm” about the government launching its own digital currency in an email to Mnuchin.

While we haven’t seen the proposal implemented, it’s intriguing that someone with so much power in the White House (and who also served as the director of the Office of American Innovation) was considering it years ago.

Here’s the complete email::

Steven —

Would you be open to me bringing a small group of people to have a brainstorm about this topic?

My sense is it could make sense and also be something that could ultimately change the way we pay out

entitlements as well saving us a ton in waste fraud and also in transaction costs…jaredkushner-crypto-federalcrypto-ussenate

Kushner’s link leads to a 2018 blog post titled “US Digital Currency,” published by Sam Altman, the former president of startup accelerator Y Combinator and current CEO of OpenAI. The article examines how the United States should create a cryptocurrency and make it legal cash. (While it advice calling the coin USDC (US Digital Currency), there is already a stablecoin called USDC (US Dollar Coin), but it was not developed by the government.) According to Altman’s tweet, the US cryptocurrency might include taxes and that developing it could offer America “some authority over a global currency.”

Kushner, for one, believes it might be a means to reduce waste, fraud, and transaction costs when it comes to distributing benefits. The outcome of his request is unknown; the emails don’t indicate whether Mnuchin responded or if a meeting was ever held about it.
Since Kushner sent the email, the government hasn’t been ignoring cryptocurrency. The Internal Revenue Service and the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network have been monitoring the crypto industry and attempting to draft legislation on crypto data collecting and regulation. The US Treasury had talks with CEOs from various cryptocurrency startups, including Coinbase, Jack Dorsey’s Square (now Block), and Xapo Bank, according to Mnuchin’s emails.

While the United States does not have an official digital currency, other countries have. El Salvador has made bitcoin an official currency alongside the US dollar, and China has produced a digital yuan that isn’t based on the blockchain. Venezuela launched its own cryptocurrency, the Petro, in 2018 (Mnuchin emailed two other Treasury secretaries in 2019 to discuss the country’s plans to use crypto for international commerce), but the currency hasn’t proven to be particularly popular, and Trump banned Americans from purchasing it during his presidency.