Republican Senator Ted Cruz has introduced a bill to block the US Federal Reserve from launching a “direct-to-consumer” central bank digital currency.
In a March 21 statement, Cruz said he introduced the bill to prevent the Fed from developing a retail CBDC, “which could be used as a financial surveillance tool by the federal government.”
Cruz asserted that it is “more important than ever” to ensure that US policy on digital currencies protects “financial privacy, maintains dominance of the dollar, and cultivates innovation,” adding:
“CBDCs that don’t adhere to these three basic principles could allow an entity like the Federal Reserve to mob in a retail bank, collect personally identifiable information about users, and track their transactions indefinitely.”
Cruz asserted that the federal government “does not have the authority to unilaterally establish” a CBDC.
“We should empower entrepreneurs, enable innovation and increase individual freedom, not stifle it,” he emphasized.
The federal government does not have the authority to unilaterally establish a central bank currency.
Read about my new bill at @FoxBusiness: Ted Cruz Introduces Bill Blocking Fed From Adopting Central Bank Digital Currencyhttps://t.co/LoX3u41nA4
— Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) March 21, 2023
Cruz’s anti-CBDC bill is supported by Republican Sens. Mike Braun of Indiana and Chuck Grassley of Iowa.
In statements, both expressed the belief that a CBDC would be used as a surveillance tool.
If the bill becomes law, it would ensure that the state is not “snooping” the finances of American workers, Grassley asserted:
“The American people should be able to spend their money however they choose without the possibility of the government being able to trace every transaction.”
The anti-CBDC bill is a second attempt by Cruz, Braun and Grassley, who introduced a similar bill on March 30, 2022, to prohibit the Fed from issuing a CBDC directly to individuals.
However, almost 12 months later, the bill has still not passed the submission phase.
Meanwhile, considerable progress has been made on a US dollar CBDC since President Joe Biden signed an executive order titled “Ensuring Responsible Development of Digital Assets” in March 2022.
In November, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and several major financial firms, including BNY Mellon, Citi, HSBC, and Wells Fargo, participated in a 12-week digital dollar pilot program with Mastercard and SWIFT.
Related: ‘Programmable money should terrify you’ – Layah Heilpern
Cruz, Braun and Grassley are not the only US politicians fighting to end CBDCs.
On March 20, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis called on state legislators to introduce legislation banning the digital dollar in Florida.
DeSantis compared the digital dollar to China’s digital yuan and claimed that e-CNY has been used to “monitor citizen behavior” extensively, saying:
“Any way they can get into society to pursue their agenda, they will. So what the central bank digital currency is all about is policing Americans and controlling the behavior of Americans.”
No CBDC in Florida https://t.co/p9pwSTmrlN
—Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) March 20, 2023
US Congressman Tom Emmer recently introduced his own anti-CBDC bill, on February 22.
Emmer also spoke about privacy concerns surrounding CBDCs, saying that a programmable dollar could be “easily weaponized” as a spy tool to “choke down politically unpopular activities.”
Related: Are CBDCs Kryptonite for Crypto?
This post US Senator Ted Cruz tries again with a new bill to block CBDCs
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