ICBA polling conducted by Morning Consult points to risks posed by digital assets

Washington, D.C. (Sept. 16, 2022)—Following the release of Treasury and Justice department reports on digital assets policy, the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) released new polling conducted by Morning Consult indicating consumers support a regulatory framework for digital assets and are skeptical of the creation of a U.S. central bank digital currency.

According to the ICBA polling conducted by Morning Consult:

  • 71% of voters say investing in cryptocurrency is risky, including more than three in five (62%) who own or have owned crypto.
  • 55% of voters say regulations in the traditional banking industry make them trust it more.
  • 46% of voters say they are aware that cryptocurrencies are not subject to the same regulations as the traditional banking sector — with 35% unaware.
  • More than half of voters, including a bipartisan majority, say the establishment of a U.S. CBDC would increase the risk of their personal financial privacy and security being breached.
  • Nearly two-thirds of voters (64%), including a bipartisan majority, say they would rather have their personal bank account with a private commercial bank than with the Federal Reserve.

“With today’s Treasury and Justice department reports advancing the policy debate on digital assets, ICBA reminds policymakers that the nation’s community banks support a clear regulatory framework for digital assets and oppose the creation of a U.S. central bank digital currency,” ICBA President and CEO Rebeca Romero Rainey said. “As ICBA told the Treasury and Commerce departments in recent comment letters on crypto oversight, policymakers should prioritize protecting national security amid catastrophic developments in the crypto markets while collaborating on a comprehensive regulatory framework that utilizes more effective alternatives to a U.S. CBDC — including the FedNow instant payments service.”

Among the key recommendations in today’s reports, the Treasury and Justice departments encourage policymakers and federal regulators to:

  • Monitor the crypto-asset sector for unlawful activity and enforce existing laws.
  • Continue using existing authorities to issue guidance and rules to address crypto risks.
  • Encourage the use of instant payment systems, such as FedNow, to support a more competitive, efficient, and inclusive U.S. payment landscape.
  • Establish a federal framework for payments regulation while supporting responsible payments innovations.

About ICBA

The Independent Community Bankers of America® creates and promotes an environment where community banks flourish. ICBA is dedicated exclusively to representing the interests of the community banking industry and its membership through effective advocacy, best-in-class education, and high-quality products and services.

With nearly 50,000 locations nationwide, community banks constitute roughly 99 percent of all banks, employ nearly 700,000 Americans and are the only physical banking presence in one in three U.S. counties. Holding more than $5.8 trillion in assets, over $4.9 trillion in deposits, and more than $3.5 trillion in loans to consumers, small businesses and the agricultural community, community banks channel local deposits into the Main Streets and neighborhoods they serve, spurring job creation, fostering innovation and fueling their customers’ dreams in communities throughout America. For more information, visit ICBA’s website at www.icba.org.