Currencies: Ron DeSantis proposes law to ban a ‘centralized digital dollar’ in Florida

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is proposing a new law for his state that would pre-emptively ban the use of a central bank digital currency, also known as a CBDC.

DeSantis said in a press release on Monday that his push to ban CBDCs aims to “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.”

The legislation would also ban any “CBDC issued by a foreign reserve or foreign sanctioned central bank.” Florida is urging other states to join in its effort.

DeSantis, who is seen by many as a serious contender for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, criticized a theoretical CBDC as a part of the federal government’s “woke ideology,” along with environmental, social and governance practices, known as ESG.

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A central bank digital currency would differ from existing digital money available to the general public, such as the balance in a bank account, because it would be a direct liability of the Federal Reserve, not of a commercial bank, as the Associated Press reported.

President Joe Biden signed an executive order last year that required federal agencies to review their policies related to cryptocurrencies and other digital assets.

The executive order focused on six priorities for the White House, including consumer protection, financial stability, illicit finance, economic competitiveness, financial inclusion and innovation.

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“Right now, some aspects of our current payment system are too slow or too expensive,” Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said last year about digital-asset findings related to Biden’s executive order.

The U.S. government has not created a CBDC and has not stated any plans to do so.

“The Federal Reserve does not intend to proceed with issuance of a CBDC without clear support from the executive branch and from Congress, ideally in the form of a specific authorizing law,” the Federal Reserve’s website reads.

Read more: Here’s the pro-bitcoin, anti-bank argument advanced by a former Coinbase executive that’s making waves

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