4 October 2023

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US Congressman Introduces Legislation to Halt Central Bank Digital Currency Surveillance

2 min read
US Congressman Introduces Legislation to Halt Central Bank Digital Currency Surveillance

U.S. House of Representatives Majority Whip Tom Emmer has reintroduced the CBDC Anti-Surveillance State Act, a piece of legislation that aims to prevent unelected bureaucrats from issuing a central bank digital currency (CBDC) that infringes Americans’ right to financial privacy. The bill, which was first proposed in January and officially submitted to Congress in February, has 50 original cosponsors.

The CBDC Anti-Surveillance State Act prohibits the Federal Reserve from issuing a CBDC directly to individuals, ensuring that the central bank cannot become a retail bank and collect personal financial data. It also prohibits the Fed from indirectly issuing a CBDC to individuals or using a CBDC to implement monetary policy, preventing the Federal Reserve from using a CBDC to control the American economy.

Emmer stated that President Biden is willing to compromise the American people’s right to financial privacy for a surveillance-style CBDC. He emphasized the importance of preserving privacy, individual sovereignty, and free-market competitiveness in the United States’ digital currency policy and preventing the emergence of a surveillance tool.

In a hearing titled “Digital Dollar Dilemma: The Implications of a Central Bank Digital Currency and Private Sector Alternatives,” experts testified on the topic of CBDCs. The hearing was largely partisan, with the sponsors of the CBDC Anti-Surveillance State Act being Republicans.

Witnesses at the hearing argued against the creation of a CBDC and instead advocated for private-sector alternatives. They indicated that a CBDC could have serious risks to financial stability and pose a threat to financial privacy, freedom, markets, and cybersecurity.

In response to the hearing, Congressman Stephen Lynch introduced the Electronic Currency and Secure Hardware (ECASH) Act, calling for a Treasury Department pilot program for developing a digital U.S. dollar. Lynch aims to complement the Fed’s efforts to examine the potential design and deployment options for a digital dollar and promote financial inclusion for those outside the financial system.

– Kitco News