Ron DeSantis, the governor of Florida, has pushed back against plans to float a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) in his state, describing it as President Biden’s administration’s way of “weaponization of the financial sector.”
In a statement on March 20, Mr Santos announced the introduction of a new legislative proposal aimed at protecting Floridians from a federally controlled CBDC by “prohibiting the use of a federally adopted Central Bank Digital Currency as money within the state.”
The governor also noted that the legislation would protect Floridians against infiltrating a central global currency by prohibiting any CBDC issued by a foreign reserve or foreign-sanctioned central bank.
“The Biden administration’s efforts to inject a Centralized Bank Digital Currency is about surveillance and control,” said Governor Ron DeSantis.
“Today’s announcement will protect Florida consumers and businesses from the reckless adoption of a ‘centralized digital dollar’ which will stifle innovation and promote government-sanctioned surveillance. Florida will not side with economic central planners; we will not adopt policies that threaten personal economic freedom and security,” he added, calling upon other like-minded states to join his crusade.
As the adoption of digital assets in the US continues to surge, calls for a CBDC by the governments have been on the rise. Last March, President Joe Biden issued an executive order requiring the government to assess the risks and benefits of rolling out a CBDC last. In the wake of the collapse of stablecoins, including Terra, among others, and various crypto firms, the government became even more determined to roll it out.
Nevertheless, a majority of the crypto community has opposed a CBDC, citing a ploy by the government to usurp unlimited control over the lives of its citizens. Unlike a decentralized digital currency, a CBDC is directly controlled and issued by the government to consumers. Those opposed to it see it as giving government bureaucrats the ability to see all consumer activity and the power to cut off access to goods and services for consumers.
According to Florida’s Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis, “a CBDC is the cornerstone of a federal government that could track every transaction that happens in the world,” ending the right to privacy.
In addition to privacy concerns, DeSantis also noted that a federal CBDC would diminish the role of community banks and credit unions since, according to him, “a CBDC currency would be a direct liability of the Federal government, rather than of a chartered financial institution,” shrinking market lending power.
Last month, republic House Majority Whip Tom Emer introduced legislation seeking to prevent the Fed from issuing a CBDC directly to US consumers. In a conference by the Cato Institute last week, Emmer warned that a federal CBDC would hamper Americans’ financial privacy. Recently, the lawmaker noted that the Biden administration was weaponizing the ongoing market chaos to kill crypto.