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Lawmakers Revive Bill to Limit Central Bank Digital Currency Over Privacy Concerns

Lawmakers reintroduce legislation to prevent central bank digital currency, citing concerns over Americans' financial privacy.

Fri, 15 Sep 2023, 10:45 am UTC

Legislation focusing on regulating the creation of a central bank digital currency (CBDC) was recently presented once again by Representative Tom Emmer and 49 other sponsors. The United States House of Representatives witnessed the revival of the "CBDC Anti-Surveillance State Act" on September 12. The proponents of the bill emphasize its necessity to safeguard the financial privacy rights of American citizens.

According to Emmer, a Republican, there's a concern surrounding the Biden administration's approach to CBDCs. He believes that the administration might be willing to sacrifice Americans' financial privacy to make way for a CBDC with extensive surveillance capabilities. In response to this, Emmer said he decided to bring back his significant bill, aiming to ensure the proposed U.S. digital currency policy aligns with principles like privacy, personal freedom, and market competitiveness.

Interestingly, this isn't the first time Emmer has shown concern over the CBDC. He initiated a similar bill in January 2022. By February 2023, it was formally presented to Congress. The legislation's primary objective is to restrict the Federal Reserve from developing a programmable digital dollar. Emmer views such a dollar as a potential tool that might conflict with American values and principles.

This legislation takes a clear stance on CBDC, stating the Federal Reserve shouldn't issue such a currency directly to individuals. Emmer's rationale is that it would prevent the Federal Reserve from transforming into a retail bank that gathers individuals' financial information. Additionally, the bill proposes that the central bank shouldn't use CBDCs to set monetary policy.

Earlier in the year, in March, Emmer expressed concerns about the possible misuse of currency to gain more control over finances. Echoing Emmer's sentiment, U.S. presidential aspirant Robert F. Kennedy Jr. voiced his reservations in May. He warned of the potential dangers of CBDCs, suggesting they could amplify the government's ability to quash dissent by swiftly denying financial access.

Prominent figures supporting the CBDC Anti-Surveillance State Act also comprise Senators French Hill, Warren Davidson, and Mike Flood.

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