The future of Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDC) in the United States is facing growing uncertainty as opposition to the CBDC plan expands. Republican Representative Tom Emmer claims that bipartisan support is growing against a CBDC, despite public appearances. It is said that some Democrats secretly back his anti-CBDC bill, the CBDC Anti-Surveillance State Act, but cannot publicly disclose their support due to the present administration’s stance on the matter.
Concerns regarding the potential increased surveillance power that may result from a centrally controlled digital currency lie at the heart of the conflict. With privacy becoming an even more important issue in our increasingly digitized world, it seems that many members of Congress are united in their apprehensions.
Nonetheless, Emmer has hinted that he isn’t entirely opposed to the concept of a CBDC. In a recent webinar hosted by The Federalist Society, he explained that if a CBDC was designed with privacy in mind, resembling cash, he would not be entirely against the idea. Emmer believes that all parties should be willing to hear the government’s plans before outright opposing the potential implementation of a CBDC.
At present, the CBDC Anti-Surveillance State Act has 23 public supporters, all of them Republican. However, Emmer’s claims regarding undisclosed Democratic support may indicate that the opposition to a CBDC might extend beyond partisan lines. This challenges the assumption that the matter is primarily an ideological struggle between progressives and conservatives.
Furthermore, Emmer, a well-known advocate for cryptocurrencies and opponent of centralization, has explicitly stated that the bill’s intention is to prohibit the Federal Reserve from issuing a CBDC in the US, as well as to enhance oversight of CBDC-related work conducted by the Fed.
As a consequence, the CBDC debate is shaping up to be less about political ideology and more about the potential risks and rewards of the technology. Privacy concerns weigh heavily in the balance, and a consensus on the appropriate design for a potential CBDC may ultimately determine the fate of digital currencies in the US.
While the CBDC question is far from settled, it’s clear that increasing skepticism, even from undisclosed sources within the Democratic Party, could significantly impact the outcome. As the conversation progresses, it will be interesting to observe how lawmakers on both sides of the aisle navigate the complex issues surrounding digital currencies, privacy, and potential surveillance.