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A former crypto exec at TD Ameritrade just joined the Federal Reserve as its first chief innovation officer as central banks consider digital assets


Sunayna Tuteja, TD Ameritrade

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A top crypto executive has left TD Ameritrade for a new role at the world’s largest central bank.

Sunayna Tuteja joined the Federal Reserve System on Monday as a senior vice president and its first chief innovation officer, according to a statement from the Richmond Fed, in a reflection of the growing importance of digital assets and technology in the broader financial system.

Tuteja had been at TD Ameritrade since 2008, most recently serving as its head of digital assets. Her time at the brokerage included leading TD Ameritrade’s digital strategy, experience, and innovation team and heading up strategic partnerships and emerging technologies. 

During the period Tuteja was at TD Ameritrade, the brokerage invested in cryptocurrency exchange ErisX in 2018 and began offering crypto futures trading for qualified investors on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. 

“I am super grateful and lucky that I’ve spent the majority of my career leading change and innovation at the nexus of technology, finance, and policy. I’ve had a lot of different assignments and in different geographies, including Canada, Asia, and Europe. But the underlying mission of all of the assignments I’ve had is really this notion of ‘How do you tap into frontier technologies?'” Tuteja told Insider in January. 

Tuteja’s hiring comes as the Fed, other central banks, and the US Treasury are increasingly turning their eyes toward digital asset and blockchain technology.

Distinct from cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, which operate entirely outside of the US dollar system, a central bank digital currency would bypass the traditional middleman between consumers and the Federal Reserve – retail banks – to transfer and settle dollar payments between customers and business nearly instantly.

Speaking at a New York Times’ DealBook policy conference on Monday, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said there are “issues around central bank digital currencies that have to be examined” – like the impact on the US banking system, for example – but that her counterparts at the Fed are looking at the technology.

“We do have a problem with financial inclusion. Too many Americans really don’t have access to easy payment systems and to banking accounts, and I think this is something a central bank digital currency would help with,” Yellen said at the conference. 

Yellen’s cautious acceptance is a sentiment that has also been echoed by top leadership at the Fed. 

For her part, Tuteja has said that her optimism about the digital asset space isn’t built only on the prospect of new technology and its adoption within the government and finance broadly.

“It’s really exciting to watch the inflow of capital and new market participants into the digital asset ecosystem. But what really gives me a lot of delight and makes me bullish for the future of digital assets is the inflow of talent,” Tuteja previously told Insider.

SEE ALSO: Execs driving Bitcoin adoption at payments giants like PayPal, Mastercard, Visa, and Square reveal how they’re thinking about new crypto use cases

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Source:: Business Insider

      

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