Florida governor introduces legislation to protect residents from CBDC

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis introduced new legislation in line with Florida’s Uniform Commercial Code to protect residents from a national central bank digital currency.

DeSantis has called on like-minded governors to combat “surveillance and control” from the federal government and adopt similar laws under their commercial codes.

DeSantis plea for anti-CBDC laws falls on deaf ears

If passed, the legislation would also protect Florida residents from a global digital currency issued by a foreign central bank.

DeSantis stressed that Florida would not support the erosion of financial freedom.

Excerpt on the reasoning behind the anti-CBDC Florida bill |  Source: Ron DeSantis
Excerpt on the reasoning behind the anti-CBDC Florida bill | Source: Ron DeSantis

Teren Bragdon of the Foundation for Government Accountability said he supported the bill and was against an “out-of-control” government bureaucracy.

The US Federal Reserve recently announced that its FedNow payment system will launch in July 2023.

Widely considered a precursor to a programmable CBDC, FedNow aims to quickly settle payments between merchants, consumers and banks. Settlements do not use blockchain technology.

Fed Vice Chairman Lael Brainard said in May last year that FedNow functions almost like a CBDC. However, the CBDC will be legal tender rather than a real-time payment system.

Those participating in the pilot go through a customer testing and certification process.

Politicians Support Centralized Digital Currency Bills in 20 States

Contrary to DeSantis, politicians in nearly 20 other states support CBDC laws, including New Hampshire, North Dakota, Texas, and California.

South Dakota Governor Christy Noem recently opposed House Bill 1193, which advocates for the creation of a federal CBDC.

The bill seeks to amend parts of the Uniform Commercial Code, a collection of non-federal laws operating in all 50 US states.

The amendments to the Bill do not establish a CBDC nor call for one in the future. Instead, the changes make it easier for state residents to use programmable, government-approved CBDCs for specific business activities without violating the commercial code.

It would also define when a resident would have “control over electronic money”, giving the government the option of planning a transfer away from an individual at its discretion.

Furthermore, the bill prohibits private cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin and ethereum from being recognized as electronic money.

President Joe Biden announced policy goals for a potential CBDC in September 2022, instructing US Treasury Department and national security officials to share progress updates.

Testifying before the House Financial Services Committee on March 8, 2023, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said the agencies have not agreed on a national CBDC.

“What we’re doing is experimenting as an early-stage experiment. How would it work? Does it work? What’s the best technique? What’s the most efficient?”

Last year, the New York Fed ran a 12-week CBDC pilot with several corporations including Wells Fargo and Mastercard.

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