A handful of small countries – the Bahamas, Nigeria – have launched fiat digital currencies, but more than 30 nations are developing or pilot testing them, including China. Last week, the city of Shenzhen in southern China announced $4.5 million in digital yuan as stimulus payments to residents to counter the negative economic effects of the pandemic. The U.S. is considering a digital dollar, but Federal Reserve Vice Chair Lael Brainard said recently it would take approval from the White House and Congress and would take at least five years to materialize. At this year’s Consensus festival in Austin, Texas, from June 9-12, some of the biggest names and most vibrant minds will come together to debate issues in the rapidly changing financial ecosystem.
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