Ron DeSantis has emerged as one of the presidential hopefuls against the issuing of Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) as he deems it a threat to liberty.
Ron DeSantis, presidential aspirant and current governor of Florida has raised concerns over the potential risks Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) pose to individual freedom, provoking a widespread debate on the subject.
In an era where financial digitization is progressively intensifying, the strong stance against CBDCs from DeSantis highlights a significant ideological divide that have seen millions of Americans protest against a digital dollar.
Rob DeSantis: A staunch critic of CBDCs
Rob DeSantis, in an interview with former Fox News anchor Tucker Carlson on July 14, didn’t mince words about his disapproval of CBDCs. His position is explicit – the governor identifies CBDCs as a “threat to American liberty.” He believes the Federal Reserve could use the technology to implement an anti-cash, anti-crypto strategy promoting CBDCs as the single legal tender. This move, DeSantis argues, could grant the central bank unprecedented control over personal spending, even potentially restricting purchases of goods like fuel and ammunition.
At the heart of DeSantis’ resistance to CBDCs is a constitutional argument. During the interview organized by the Family Policy Alliance, the governor stressed that any decision to institute a CBDC should go through Congress. He expressed apprehension about a potential unilateral move by the Federal Reserve to roll out a digital dollar, which he asserts would be in direct contravention of the Constitution. Should he become president, DeSantis vowed to scrap any plans for digital dollar from day one.
Rob DeSantis not alone in CBDC concern
The skepticism toward CBDCs is not exclusive to DeSantis. Libertarian factions within the Republican Party echo similar worries about the potential infringement of privacy rights that the technology could instigate.
Notably, Vivek Ramaswamy, an entrepreneur turned presidential hopeful vying for the Republican candidacy has also criticized CBDCs. Drawing parallels from the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis which gave birth to Satoshi Nakamoto’s innovation of a blockchain-backed digital currency, Ramaswamy suggests that CBDCs could be disastrous for Americans. While his proposals for the reform of the Federal Reserve is known to have some major flaws, his views on privacy and freedom have been unimpeachable, says the American Institute for Economic Research.
Aside from Republications, the Democratic side has not been void of CBDC detractors. Pro-Bitcoin candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. brands them as “instruments of control and oppression,” warning of inevitable misuse.
Florida’s ban on CBDCs
DeSantis’ actions as Florida governor substantiates his wariness of CBDCs. On May 12, he signed legislation prohibiting CBDCs from being recognized as legal tender in the state. Further illustrating his stand against the concept, DeSantis has encouraged other Republican-led states to adopt similar measures to fend off federal endorsement of CBDCs.
As America gears up for the 2024 elections, the topic of CBDCs continues to gain traction, with opinions for and against the technology found across various states and federal branches. The digital dollar discourse could reach new heights when the Presidential Debates take place a few weeks before the election as the two flagbearers discuss the future of digital finance in the country.
DeSantis’ stance illustrates one side of a complex argument about the intersection of technology, financial policy, and individual liberties in an increasingly digital age.
Adoption of CBDCs across the globe
As of July 2023, the United States together with Australia, the United Kingdom (UK), Germany, and Poland are still in the Research phase. Russian Federation, Norway, Sweden, Iran, Ukraine, Turkey, New Zealand, and Brazil are also in a Proof–of–Concept phase while Saudi Arabia, Canada, France, and India are in the Pilot phase, data from CDBC Tracker showed.