Federal reserve bank adds cryptocurrency to research database
The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis has added BTC, ETH, BTH and LTC price tracking and history.
In a growing sign of adoption and of cryptocurrency continuing its mainstream break in, the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis has added bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin price tracking and history to its Federal Reserve Economic Database (FRED) system.
The inclusion of cryptocurrency prices is another sign of legitimacy for the part-currency part-asset class. St. Louis Federal Reserve president James Bullard has previously described bitcoin as a good thing overall, noting that it's "facilitating trade that would not otherwise occur. Some of that’s illegal, but some of that is avoiding costs that would otherwise be there".
"We think blockchain technology is very interesting," he said. "We want to be very engaged and thoughtful as this proceeds."
Part of this engagement might be the addition of price history and tracking to the FRED database, opening it up for further analysis and research of past and future trends.
The prices are provided by Coinbase, and include the currently somewhat cursory Coinbase Index data.
The views from St. Louis aren't shared by all central banking organisations, and recently BIS the "central bank of central banks" recently derided bitcoin in a scathing report.
Its views focused on the potential of bitcoin – which it seemed to conflate with cryptocurrency as a whole – to overtake the global banking system and concentrated on its shortcomings in this area. One of the report criticisms, among others, is that it's not currently in any position to even think about taking over the world economy, and that there's plenty of room in existing margins for cryptocurrency to see valid use as a medium of exchange without ever becoming a de-facto global currency.
Bullard's opinions might be closely aligned with the current state of bitcoin and cryptocurrency in the real world than those voiced in the BIS report. He has previously noted that the US dollar's current position is hard to beat, and that he doesn't see bitcoin as a threat to economic stability.
Disclosure: At the time of writing the author holds ETH, IOTA, ICX, VET, XLM, BTC, NANO