A nightmare scenario, Powell said, would be if hackers managed to shut down a major payment processor – obstructing the flow of money from one financial institution to another. It could close sectors or even broad stretches of the financial system, he said.
Governments and private companies are increasingly on guard for these types of threats, Powell said. “We spend so much time and energy and money on protecting against these things. There are cyber attacks every day on all major institutions now. And the government is working hard on that. The same goes for all companies in the private sector. There is a great effort “It is a big part of the threat picture in today’s world.”
“Really, the fundamental question for us is, if we add this new digital currency to reliable money that we are expected to provide to the public, will it help the public?” Powell said. “Will the public feel better? And will there also be negatives? Will it perhaps have unexpected effects in other parts of the financial system that we need to consider to weigh the costs and benefits of this? We are the world’s reserve currency. The dollar is so important “We need to get it right. We do not have to be the first to do this. We want to get it right. And that’s what we need to do.”