As you can tell by our time on the program today, Federal Reserve Chairman Jay Powell has a lot on his plate right now. Degressive. Rise in interest rates. Probably impressing other Fed governors with his Wordle scores.

Another issue high on the president’s to-do list? If the Fed should create its own digital currency, a so-called digital dollar. The Fed released a long-awaited report last week weighing the pros and cons of creating digital money, and it tried hard not to take sides one way or the other.

But how could a digital dollar actually work?

Let’s hypothetically say you need a Mountain Dew and a Slim Jim from the corner store to fuel you through the afternoon. If you’re short on cash, you’ll probably use a debit or credit card.

“If this bodega is lucky, it will see the money in a few weeks, but not immediately,” said Chris Giancarlo, who heads the Digital Dollar Project, a nonprofit advocacy group.

He said that going forward, with a digital dollar app on your phone, “you go to your store, buy your Slim Jim and your Mountain Dew, and you put your mobile device in the store drive, and the money actually moves.”

Instantly, like cash. The bodega owner doesn’t have to wait for Visa, Bank of America or Apple Pay to do anything – nor does it have to pay them any fees.

It may look like bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies, which are digital. But the idea is that a fedcoin would be as stable as that $20 bill you keep in your wallet.

“It’s totally different from a cryptocurrency, which is an asset whose price and value in US dollars goes up and down day by day, sometimes quite dramatically,” said economics professor Todd Keister. at Rutgers.

China already has a digital yuan, although it is still in its infancy. With more than 80 countries exploring digital currencies, some fear that not going digital could endanger the global dominance of the US dollar.

But there is a lot of skepticism about whether Americans themselves would accept this.

“I think people in the United States are a little more concerned about privacy and a little more concerned about what banks and others can see,” said Yale finance professor Bill English.

Still, English thinks it’s possible that digital dollars will supplant the good old greenbacks.

So 10 years from now, if you bring cash to the corner store for those Slim Jims, they may even charge you extra.