Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has declared central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) a “threat to American liberty.”
During an interview with former Fox News anchor Tucker Carlson, DeSantis, a presidential candidate, asserted his administration would thwart any efforts by the Federal Reserve to launch a digital dollar.
Ron DeSantis: The Fed Wants to Replace Cash With CBDC
At an event organized by the right-wing lobbying group Family Policy Alliance, Carlson queried DeSantis about his concerns that the Federal Reserve might attempt to impose a CBDC on Americans.
DeSantis maintained that any such action would require congressional approval. Nevertheless, he voiced concerns that the Fed might try to initiate a digital dollar unilaterally, an action he believes would be unconstitutional.
“if I’m the President, on day one, we will nix central bank digital currency,” DeSantis said to clarify his opposition to the technology.
Read more: Why Crypto Became a Crucial Legislative Issue for the 2024 US Presidential Election
So why is the Florida governor so adamantly against CBDCs? DeSantis holds that the Federal Reserve will leverage the technology to further an anti-cash, anti-crypto strategy.
“They want to get rid of cash. They want no cryptocurrency. They want [CBDCs] to be the sole form of legal tender. It will allow them to prohibit undesirable purchases like fuel and ammunition,” DeSantis contended.
Hot Topic of the 2024 Presidential Election: CBDCs and Cryptos
As the 2024 election season heats up, CBDCs have become a focal point. Particularly within libertarian factions of the Republican Party, there are worries that these currencies could infringe upon Americans’ privacy rights.
Critics of CBDCs also argue they could give governments excessive control over personal spending.
DeSantis, speculating that the Fed might use a CBDC to limit purchases of items like fuel and ammunition, invoked American values in his critique of the technology. He stated CBDC proponents wish to impose a “social credit system” on the US and reiterated that “CBDC is a massive threat to American liberty.”
Read more: US Presidential Candidates Vie for Crypto Voters
However, DeSantis is not the sole presidential hopeful campaigning against CBDCs. Republican candidate Vivek Ramaswamy has also expressed opposition to the technology.
“Just like ESG [Environmental, Social, and Governance] came out of the 2008 financial crisis, central bank digital currencies are what is going to come out of this next one… This is likely where this is heading. It is a longer-term game to a disaster,” Ramaswamy said.
On the Democratic side, pro-Bitcoin candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has labeled CBDCs “instruments of control and oppression, [that] are certain to be abused.”
Florida Bans Central Bank-Issued Digital Currency
DeSantis’s criticism of CBDCs is not new. As the Florida governor, he signed legislation banning CBDCs from being recognized as legal tender in May.
The presidential candidate has also urged other Republican-led states to introduce their own measures against CBDCs. In March, for example, he appealed to a coalition of 20 states to resist federal backing for the concept.
Read more: Who’s Better for Bitcoin: DeSantis or Kennedy Jr?
Regardless of next year’s election outcome, a clash over CBDCs appears imminent. Advocates and opponents of the technology are dispersed 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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