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US Congress pushes digital dollar for UBI Payments in COVID-19 stimulus bill

Mon, 20 Apr 2020, 00:39 am UTC

The US Congress published another COVID-19 bill titled “Automatic Boost to Communities Act” or ABC Act and it included the digital dollar.

In March, previous bills from Democrats and the senate also suggested the use of digital dollars to distribute immediate cash relief. The new bill demands the same.

First, it proposed a universal basic income (UBI) of $2,000 during the crisis and, after that $1,000 per month for a year. The amount will be funded from the two trillion budget issued by the government.

“Real people, not corporations need to be at the center of any legislative relief effort to combat the harms caused by this global pandemic. Too many of our workers, low-income people and families across the country were instantly impacted and we need to have an aggressive and inclusive financial assistance program,” said Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib.

As for the distribution, the bill proposes to make multiple payment routes including direct bank account payments or BOOST prepaid debit cards. It also suggested a digital dollar wallet that should be available by January.

The digital dollar wallet is branded “FedAcount” and would be available at local banks and Post Offices with zero fees. It will also be accessible via mobile banking and ATMs.

The Digital Dollar Cash Wallets or eCash Wallets can receive ecash and are compatible with FedAccounts. The bill also suggested the creation of the Digital Financial Privacy Board to ensure that the digital cash retains the same anonymity as physical cash.

The Digital Dollar Wallet should not be confused with the Digital Dollar Foundation initiated by former Chair of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) J. Christopher Giancarlo, who believed that the country needs a central bank digital currency (CBDC).

In a previous interview, David Treat from Accenture, partner of the Digital Dollar Foundation, said they were not involved or consulted about the bills.

Meanwhile, China has been working for its own CBDC. Jut recently, the first look of its CBDC wallet leaked online. Based on the photo, users have four payment options and can manage their funds, link wallet to other accounts, and review all their transactions.

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