Former US OCC Officials Advocate Stablecoins to Bolster Dollar's Reserve Currency Status

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Brian Brooks and Charles Calomiris, both former authorities within the US Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), have posited that stablecoins could play a pivotal role in preserving the global dominance of the US dollar as a reserve currency. In a recently published op-ed, Brooks and Calomiris underscored the potential of stablecoins while advocating for regulatory frameworks that provide stablecoin issuers with the necessary guidance for their sustained growth.

Upholding the Reserve Currency Status through Stablecoins

Brian Brooks, who formerly served as the US Comptroller of the Currency, alongside Charles Calomiris, the ex-chief economist of the OCC, co-authored an insightful op-ed articulating the ways in which stablecoins could contribute to safeguarding the dollar's esteemed status as a reserve currency.

The duo expounded on the role stablecoins could play in mitigating the worldwide trend of de-dollarization. They illuminated how stablecoins might stoke demand for the US dollar in developing economies, even in instances where these nations' governments do not explicitly endorse dollarization.

Citing examples such as Argentina and Venezuela, countries grappling with rampant inflation and governments striving to reduce dollar reliance, Brooks and Calomiris illustrated how citizens within such nations are embracing stablecoins linked to the US dollar. These stablecoins effectively act as synthetic savings accounts, providing a haven for their incomes and savings as the local currencies rapidly depreciate.

Amidst concerns regarding the diminishing prevalence of the US dollar as the world's reserve currency, the authors underscored the potential implications of a de-dollarized global landscape. They emphasized the detrimental impact such a scenario might have on the US, specifically the elevated borrowing costs that could ensue, thus posing a challenge at a time when government borrowing and spending are soaring to unprecedented heights.

Regulation as the Cornerstone

A salient point raised by Brooks and Calomiris pertains to the need for a coherent regulatory framework to facilitate the expansion of stablecoins. They pointed to Representative Patrick McHenry's legislative proposal, a move that could provide a vital foundation for the mainstream integration of stablecoins.

The authors highlighted the significance of the proposed legislation, noting that it would institute federal and state oversight for stablecoin issuers, delineate criteria for reserve assets, and establish rules governing redemptions and public disclosure.

This legislative stride recently saw the House Financial Services Committee pass the Clarity for Stablecoins Act with bipartisan support. In light of Paypal's entrance into the stablecoin realm with PYUSD, McHenry echoed the necessity for regulatory clarity within the digital stablecoin landscape. He emphasized that well-defined regulations and robust consumer protections are essential for harnessing the full potential of stablecoins.

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