RIYADH: Bitcoin on Sunday dropped 1.54 percent to $19,804, slipping from the 20,000 mark after losing $310 from its previous close.
The world’s biggest and best-known cryptocurrency is down 58.9 percent from the year’s high of $48,234 on March 28.
Ether, the coin linked to the ethereum blockchain network, dropped 3.2 percent to $1,422.1 on Sunday, losing $47 from its previous close.
The Biden administration is moving one step closer to developing a central bank digital currency, known as the digital dollar, saying it would help reinforce the US role as a leader in the world financial system.
The White House said on Friday that after President Joe Biden issued an executive order in March calling on a variety of agencies to look at ways to regulate digital assets, the agencies came up with nine reports, covering cryptocurrency impacts on financial markets, the environment, innovation and other elements of the economic system.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said one Treasury recommendation is that the US “advance policy and technical work on a potential central bank digital currency, or CBDC, so that the US is prepared if CBDC is determined to be in the national interest.”
“Right now, some aspects of our current payment system are too slow or too expensive,” Yellen said on a Thursday call with reporters laying out some of the findings of the reports.
Central bank digital currencies differ from existing digital money available to the general public, such as the balance in a bank account, because they would be a direct liability of the Federal Reserve, not a commercial bank.
According to the Atlantic Council nonpartisan think tank, 105 countries representing more than 95 percent of global gross domestic product already are exploring or have created a central bank digital currency.
The council found that the US and the UK are far behind in creating a digital dollar or its equivalent.
Treasury, the Justice Department, the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau, the Securities and Exchange Commission and other agencies were tasked with contributing to reports that would address various concerns about the risks, development and usage of digital assets. Several reports will come out in the next weeks and months.