US Federal Reserve Governor Lael Brainard attends a “Fed Listens” event at the Federal Reserve headquarters in Washington, DC, on October 4, 2019.

Eric Baradat | AFP | Getty Images

Federal Reserve Governor Lael Brainard pressed the case for a digital dollar, saying Monday that a cryptocurrency backed by the central bank could provide a variety of benefits.

Providing financial services to the nearly 1 in 5 Americans considered “underbanked” is one of the advantages Brainard cited in a speech to a conference presented by Coindesk.

She also cited the safety of a Fed-backed system, as well as improvements in efficiency and cross-border payments, or transactions between people in different countries.

While stressing the importance of moving forward carefully, Brainard said the Covid-19 pandemic strengthened the need for a system in which a broad swath of the public has access to well-regulated digital money.

“The Federal Reserve remains…

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