Rejecting federal "surveillance and control" in Florida
On March 20, Florida's Republican Governor Ron DeSantis introduced new legislation - the first of its kind in the United States - which seeks to ban the use of Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDC) from being used in the state of Florida. The legislation would apply to such currencies that are planned to be introduced by the federal government, but which are also being explored by other governments and nations around the world.
Speaking at a press event, DeSantis referred to CBDCs as "Big Brother's digital dollar" and suggested that he was against such innovations due to them representing another means by which citizens can be surveilled and spied-upon by the government.
Commenting on the concept of CBDC, DeSantis had this to say:
“The Biden administration’s efforts to inject a Centralized Bank Digital Currency is about surveillance and control. Today’s announcement will protect Florida consumers and businesses from the reckless adoption of a ‘centralized digital dollar’ which will stifle innovation and promote government-sanctioned surveillance. Florida will not side with economic central planners; we will not adopt policies that threaten personal economic freedom and security.”
What are CBDCs?
Central Bank Digital Currencies are intended to be a government-controlled version of digital cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum. The difference is that CBDCs are designed and implemented by the government that creates them.
Unlike Bitcoin which is designed so that it can be owned and sent anonymously to exchange value from one person to another, a CBDC could easily be managed and maintained such that the government who owns the computers on which it exists could track who owns what, monitor who they send it to, and for what purpose. In this way, a government CBDC could be tracked, peoples behavior monitored and in extreme cases, funds seized.
While U.S. Dollars can be sent electronically right now, the individual dollars themselves are moved from point A to point B, and the value exchanged without the actual dollar being traceable to one person or another. It's this additional level of traceability that many object to about CBDC.
Florida embraces Bitcoin (but not CBDC)
Florida has been at the forefront of the adoption of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency, and Miami's Republican Mayor Francis Suarez has been particularly bullish about Bitcoin, both taking his salary in the cryptocurrency, and staking some of the city's treasury in it.
However, it's the government overreach and the evasion of privacy that Republicans like DeSantis object to when it comes to CBDCs.
As DeSantis continues to push forward in sharing Florida's "Freedom Blueprint" across the United States (as a possible prelude to his presidential campaign), and promotes his book "The Courage to Be Free", as well as promoting new laws such as permit-less concealed carry of firearms, it's clear that Freedom is at the top of his agenda.
It's clear to see why, then, a Central Bank Digital Currency would be considered to be unacceptable in the Sunshine State.
Do you think that Governor Ron DeSantis is right to object to government overreach in the form of Central Bank Digital Currencies? Are you concerned about the government eroding freedoms? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.
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