DeSantis goes after digital currency in attempt to ban federal effort

DeSantis goes after digital currency in attempt to ban federal effort

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Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.), is urging Florida lawmakers to pass a bill that would ban a federal digital currency in his state, calling it an attempt to push “woke ideology,” the Orlando Sentinel reported

During a news conference on Monday, Desantis said he’s against a plan by the Biden administration that would look into whether the U.S. government should create a central bank digital currency (CBDC), which would essentially issue a digital version of currency that could be used the same way as regular dollars.

Even though a CBDC has yet to be established by the federal government, DeSantis and other Republican lawmakers are opposed to the idea. 

Ron DeSantis
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks after being sworn in to begin his second term during an inauguration ceremony outside the Old Capitol on Jan. 3, 2023, in Tallahassee, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

DeSantis said at the news conference that the establishment of a CBDC would allow the government to spy on Americans and control their behavior.

“What are they going to want to do here? If you go and buy too much gasoline, they won’t allow you to use this to make a transaction? Who knows? Maybe they won’t let you purchase a firearm,” DeSantis said. 

This follows the Treasury Department’s announcement earlier this month saying that it was working on developing technology that would create a federal digital currency, a move that has lawmakers divided over the issue. 

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said that his agency will not take any action to create a CBDC unless Congress gives it permission to move forward. 

But the agency’s under secretary for domestic finance, Nellie Liang, said that the department is taking steps to be ready for such a system if or when Congress gives it the green light to proceed. 

“Even as policy deliberations continue, we are engaging in the technological development of a CBDC so that we would be able to move forward rapidly if a CBDC were determined to be in the national interest,” Liang said. 

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