Central Banker Decrypts Blockchain Buzz, Jim Cunha of Boston Fed

50 | April 19, 2019

Hosted by: Dang Du


This is our central banking perspectives, featuring guest Jim Cunha, SVP of the Treasury and Financial Services Group at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.

Cunha is a lifetime central banker, but not your typical one. For several decades at the Fed, his job has been overseeing financial rails that allow massive transactions to take place on a given day.

In our exchange, he explains how the Fed may have missed the boat on the first dot.com boom-and-bust and how it led to giant networks like Facebook and Amazon that dominate our modern lives. These are tail end applications that society can’t predict ahead of time but wield so much influence on the global economy.

That’s why he wants the Fed to stay on the bleeding edge this time by exploring how blockchain can rearchitect the way people and businesses transfer value, changing business models on its head.

Among the areas we covered are global remittances, wholesale banking, digital currencies, safety and soundness regulations, and various public-private partnerships.

For the last few years, Jim has been active in policy circles, media and tech forums to share his learnings from the Boston Fed’s efforts to explore and develop blockchain technology. He assesses the tech based on its: applicability, potential benefits, and risks used in a range of financial areas. He leads the Bank’s applied research and closely tracks the evolution of digital currencies.

Jim’s profile: https://www.bostonfed.org/people/bank/james-cunha.aspx
Boston Fed’s blockchain whitepaper: https://www.bostonfed.org/-/media/Documents/one-time-pubs/2019/blockchain-white-paper.pdf

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