Sunayna Tuteja, the Former TD Ameritrade Head of Digital Assets, Hired by US Fed as Chief Innovation Officer

Sunayna Tuteja, the former Managing Director, Head of Digital Assets & DLT (Blockchain, Crypto) at TD Ameritrade, has now been hired by the US Federal Reserve System as its Chief Innovation Officer.

Tuteja has been a vocal supporter of Bitcoin. She claims to have gotten involved in the crypto space back in 2011. In previous interviews, Tuteja has stated that TD Ameritrade had become quite “bullish” on blockchain, which came after she reportedly led internal operations that were focused on adopting DLT-enabled systems.

Tuteja has notably served in various senior management roles at the brokerage firm — which was once quite critical of the use of digital assets. TD Ameritrade now views cryptocurrencies as another legitimate asset class. While she was working at the brokerage, Tuteja was responsible for leading the firm’s investment into ErisX, which is a CFTC-regulated digital currency trading platform.

Tuteja has stated that industry participants are now using Bitcoin for “pragmatic reasons” and are increasingly adopting the digital asset class because of macroeconomic problems that have become more prevalent following the COVID-19 outbreak.

In statements shared with Blockworks, Tuteja had noted that the world is now “flush with cash” (due to record levels of money printing) that has now “got to go somewhere.” Tuteja also mentioned that the brokerage had been looking for assets that can serve as an effective store of value, while providing a hedge against rising inflation. Crypto-assets may help investors with diversifying their portfolios as well, Tuteja had suggested.

She added that the COVID outbreak has accelerated the ongoing digitization of “everything” and that both consumers and investors are now looking to gain more exposure to digital assets.

Tuteja’s recent move from TD Ameritrade to the US Federal Reserve is notably one of several other high-profile hires by established financial services providers and institutions.

Mark Carney, the former Bank of England (BoE) governor, has joined Stripe’s board of directors. Carney joins the board in advance of a new funding round that is said to value the Fintech at between $70 to $100 billion, according to reports. In early 2020, Stripe raised over $630 million from 20 investors.

During his tenure at the Bank, Carney was noted for his support of innovation in financial services.

Eileen Murray, the former Bridgewater Co-CEO, has now joined crypto-assets software developer Lukka as its strategic advisor.

As reported recently, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell commented (during testimony provided at the US Senate Banking Committee hearing on February 23, 2021) on the possibility of launching a “digital dollar” calling it a high-priority project for them.

Powell was testifying in front of the Senate Banking Committee as part of the Federal Reserve’s semiannual Monetary Policy Report. While much of the discourse surrounding economic policy, mainly monetary policy, as well as the COVID impacted environment, Powell was asked about his thoughts on Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs). Powell said, “we do not need to be the first but we need to get it right.”

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