Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has called central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) a “threat to American liberty”.
In an interview with former Fox News anchor Tucker Carlson, DeSantis, a presidential candidate, claimed that his administration would thwart any efforts by the Federal Reserve to launch a digital dollar.
Ron DeSantis: Fed wants to replace cash with CBDC
At an event hosted by the right-wing lobby group Family Policy Alliance, Carlson asked DeSantis about his concerns that the Federal Reserve is trying to impose a CBDC on Americans.
DeSantis argued that any such action would require congressional approval. Nonetheless, he expressed concern that the Fed might attempt to unilaterally launch a digital dollar, an action he said would be unconstitutional.
“If I’m president, day one we’ll eliminate central bank digital currency,” DeSantis said to clarify his opposition to the technology.
Read more: Why crypto has become a crucial legislative issue for the 2024 US presidential election
So why is the Governor of Florida so adamantly against CBDCs? DeSantis argues that the Federal Reserve will leverage technology to promote an anti-cash and anti-crypto strategy.
“They want to get rid of the money. They don’t want cryptocurrency. They want [CBDCs] be the only form of legal tender. This will allow them to ban unwanted purchases like fuel and ammunition,” DeSantis asserted.
2024 Presidential Election Hot Topic: CBDCs and Cryptos
As the 2024 election season heats up, CBDCs have become a focal point. Particularly among libertarian factions of the Republican Party, there are fears that these currencies could infringe upon Americans’ right to privacy.
Critics of CBDCs also argue that they could give governments excessive control over personal spending.
DeSantis, speculating that the Fed could use a CBDC to limit purchases of items like fuel and ammunition, invoked American values in his critique of the technology. He said CBDC supporters want to impose a “social credit system” on the United States and reiterated that “the CBDC is a massive threat to American liberty.”
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However, DeSantis isn’t the only presidential hopeful campaigning against CBDCs. Republican candidate Vivek Ramaswamy has also voiced his opposition to the technology.
“Just like the ESG [Environmental, Social, and Governance] came out of the 2008 financial crisis, central bank digital currencies are what’s coming out of the next… That’s probably where it’s heading. It’s a longer term game towards disaster,” Ramaswamy said.
On the Democratic side, pro-Bitcoin candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. called CBDCs “instruments of control and oppression, [that] are certain to be abused.
Florida Bans Central Bank-Issued Digital Currency
DeSantis’ criticism of CBDCs is not new. As governor of Florida, he signed legislation barring CBDCs from being recognized as legal tender in May.
The presidential candidate also urged other Republican-run states to introduce their own measures against CBDCs. In March, for example, he called on a coalition of 20 states to resist federal support for the concept.
Read more: Who is better for Bitcoin: DeSantis or Kennedy Jr?
Regardless of the outcome of next year’s election, a showdown over CBDCs seems imminent. Proponents and opponents of the technology are scattered across states and different branches of the federal government. This ongoing conflict could set the stage for a major debate in 2024 and beyond.
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