US Financial Stability Oversight Council identifies stablecoins and cryptos as threats to financial system
In an annual report published on Friday, the United States Financial Stability Oversight Council, or FSOC, voiced its concern over the adoption of stablecoins and other digital assets.
Regarding stablecoins, the FSOC said consumer confidence could be undermined by factors such as illiquidity, lack of appropriate safeguards, opacity regarding redemption rights, and cyber attacks. "A run on stablecoins during strained market conditions may have the potential to amplify a shock to the economy and the financial system," the report said.
The report also alerted to developments in decentralized finance, or DeFi, where the use of high leverage could trigger a fire sale when the price of the underlying asset declines. This would result in a cycle of margin calls and further price declines. In addition, the report outlined that "users of these services face risk of loss due to market value fluctuations, operational issues, and cybersecurity threats, among other risks." In the report's recommendations, the FSOC calls for a unified effort between federal and state authorities to enact legislation on stablecoins and digital currencies.
Despite concerns surrounding the much-unregulated nature of the crypto industry, the report highlighted their innovative potential:
The development of digital assets and the use of associated distributed ledger technology may present the opportunity to promote innovation and further modernization of financial infrastructure. Regulatory attention and coordination are critically important in light of the quickly evolving market for digital assets.