Republican Presidential candidate Ron DeSantis has declared that if he becomes president, he will immediately put an end to the development of central bank digital currency (CBDC). In an interview with Blaze Media, DeSantis stated that a CBDC poses a significant threat to American liberty and that it will have no place in the country if he assumes office. He emphasized that on January 20, 2025, the idea of a CBDC will be consigned to the history books.
DeSantis’ comments are in response to a 2022 report by the Federal Reserve, which aligns with his viewpoint. However, the report also clarifies that the Federal Reserve does not advocate for any specific CBDC policy and takes no stance on its desirability. Currently, the Federal Reserve’s FAQ page states that it has not yet decided whether to create a CBDC.
Despite the Federal Reserve’s position, DeSantis believes that state-level restrictions will prevent the introduction of a CBDC and prompt legal action if the Federal Reserve attempts to proceed. He pointed out that Florida, where he currently serves as governor, has already banned CBDCs, meaning that the state will not recognize any CBDC as a legitimate form of currency. DeSantis anticipates that other states will follow suit and implement similar bans.
DeSantis also expressed concerns about the World Economic Forum (WEF) and its plans for governments to eliminate cash and cryptocurrencies, effectively restricting “undesirable purchases” like fuel and ammunition through the use of CBDCs. This remark refers to statements made by Cornell University professor Eswar Prasad during a WEF event in June. Prasad, however, does not hold any official position within the WEF. He highlighted the potential for CBDCs to create a darker world and listed pornography, ammunition, and drugs as potential items that could be banned through CBDCs.
While DeSantis’ claims may lack precision, many countries that are currently developing CBDCs have implemented measures to restrict illegal purchases and track transactions, similar to existing regulations for financial transactions. However, advocates of decentralization argue that this approach contradicts the principles underlying Bitcoin and other public cryptocurrencies.
In summary, Republican Presidential candidate Ron DeSantis has pledged to halt the development of central bank digital currency if elected president. He believes that state-level restrictions will prevent the Federal Reserve from introducing a CBDC and expects other states to follow Florida’s lead. DeSantis also expressed concerns about the World Economic Forum’s plans to eliminate cash and cryptocurrencies, potentially leading to restrictions on certain purchases. However, critics argue that the restrictive nature of CBDCs goes against the principles of decentralization embraced by cryptocurrencies.