US Congressman Takes Aim at Digital Dollar with CBDC Privacy Bill

September 16, 2023 3:55 pm Comments

US Congressman Tom Emmer has reintroduced the Central Bank Digital Currency Anti-surveillance State Act, aiming to prevent the Federal Reserve from issuing a central bank digital currency (CBDC) directly to individuals.

Emmer argues that a government digital currency, if not designed to emulate cash, could infringe upon Americans’ right to financial privacy and empower the administrative state.

The legislation, first filed in February and reintroduced with some modifications, takes a firm stance against CBDCs and their potential impact on privacy and government overreach.

The updated bill includes a provision banning “intermediate CBDCs,” which are issued by the Federal Reserve but managed by retail banks and financial institutions, similar to China’s digital yuan. reports:

US Congressman Tom Emmer is introducing a new bill to ban the FED from creating a Central Bank Digital Currency, or CBDC.

The Central Bank Digital Currency Anti-surveillance State Act would ensure that there is a check on unelected bureaucrats and ensure that the United States digital currency policy upholds values of “privacy, individual sovereignty, and free market competitiveness,” according to the congressman.

He adds:

“If not open, permissionless, and private – like cash – a CBDC is nothing more than a CCP-style surveillance tool that can be weaponized to oppress the American way of life.”

Another notable change is the removal of a requirement for the Federal Reserve to report to Congress about potential CBDC pilot programs. Emmer stated that this modification makes the bill more narrowly focused.

The reintroduced bill has garnered support from 49 Republican co-sponsors, highlighting the diversity of opinions within the political landscape regarding digital currencies.

While some politicians, including Senator Ted Cruz, have been supportive of cryptocurrencies and their potential, others like SEC Chairman Gary Gensler have been critical of the industry, citing concerns about fraud and misconduct. reports:

Democrats, for the most part, have been notably anti-crypto–despite Emmer previously alleging some of his peers on the other side of the aisle support his CBDC bill, claiming they can’t admit it publicly due to optics.

Ultimately, Emmer summed up his thoughts on the updated bill with a “bottom line” on Twitter.

“If not open, permissionless, and private—like cash—a CBDC is nothing more than a CCP-style surveillance tool that can be weaponized to oppress the American way of life,” Emmer suggested.

Emmer’s bill underscores the ongoing debate within the United States about the role and potential risks associated with CBDCs. Critics argue that CBDCs could jeopardize financial privacy and provide governments with extensive surveillance tools.

Proponents, on the other hand, see CBDCs as a way to modernize the financial system, enhance payment efficiency, and potentially reduce fraud.

The fate of Emmer’s bill remains uncertain, as it will need to go through the legislative process to become law.

However, it reflects the broader discussions and concerns surrounding CBDCs in the United States and the evolving landscape of digital currencies in the country.

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