- Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has called for new regulations that would prohibit the use of a so-called federally-controlled “digital dollar” or Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC)
- DeSantis believes a CBDC would allow the government to easily surveil and control private transactions, threatening personal economic freedom and security.
- DeSantis’s proposal aims to protect consumers and businesses from an increase in federal power and control that would come from the use of a federally-issued digital dollar, which he claims would harm community banks and credit unions in the financial system.
- The governor has proposed that the state use it’s own banking regulations to ban CBDC-issued digital dollars, which is fundamentally different than current electronic banking.
Standing at a podium with the sign that read “Big Brother’s Digital Dollar,” Florida Governor Ron DeSantis launched a pre-emptive strike against a potential Biden Administration cryptocurrency initiative. The governor on Monday called for legislators to pass new banking regulations that prohibit the use of a federally-controlled Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) – a digital cryptocurrency dollar – as money within Florida’s Uniform Commercial Code (UCC).
The state’s UCC provides a standardized set of banking rules and regulations for businesses to follow when conducting transactions in the state. The UCC is designed to simplify and standardize commercial transactions across the country by providing a common set of rules and procedures that businesses can use to conduct transactions across state lines.
DeSantis’s latest proposal aims to leverage the state’s UCC to protect consumers and businesses from a sharp increase in federal power and control that would come from the use of a federally-issued digital dollar, which DeSantis alleges would allow easy government surveillance of private transactions, which in turn would allow tracking and even control over specific transactions, increasing the threat to personal economic freedom and security.
“The Biden administration’s efforts to inject a Centralized Bank Digital Currency is about surveillance and control,” said DeSantis. “ Florida will not side with economic central planners; we will not adopt policies that threaten personal economic freedom and security.”
The move by DeSantis follows a September 2022 announcement from President Joe Biden that touted “the potential benefits and risks of a U.S. Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC),” which some are calling the “Digital Dollar.” The Biden Administration encouraged the Federal Reserve to “continue its ongoing CBDC research, experimentation, and evaluation” and called for the creation of “a Treasury-led interagency working group to support the Federal Reserve’s efforts.”
In his Monday announcement, DeSantis claimed that a CBDC would allow the government to see all consumer activity, which theoretically could give bureaucrats the power to cut off access to goods and services, in the same way that some credit card companies have started tracking certain transactions for goods or services the credit card company doesn’t like, such as gun purchases. DeSantis and state lawmakers are already pushing for legislation aimed at protecting consumers from the political whims of credit card companies.
Under the proposal, Florida would prohibit the use of any CBDC issued by a federal or foreign reserve or sanctioned central bank and call on like-minded states to join them in adopting similar prohibitions within their respective Commercial Codes to fight back against this concept nationwide.
DeSantis also pointed out that central bank digital cryptocurrency differs from traditional cryptocurrency which is more decentralized. Bitcoin, for example, is completely decentralized, with no specific person or entity in charge of the technology.
According to DeSantis’s emailed statement, a federally-sanctioned CBDC would also diminish the role of community banks and credit unions in the financial system as CBDC currency would be a direct liability of the Federal government, rather than of a chartered financial institution, shrinking market lending power. He added that CBDC is part of a movement to “try to use the levers of economic power to control society and to impose an agenda on society.”
“So what the central bank digital currency is all about is surveilling Americans and controlling behavior of Americans,” DeSantis said at a Monday press conference. “How do we know? We’ve seen this happen in other parts of the world. Look no further than China.”
China recently banned other cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and instead shifted to a government-controlled digital juan.