Bipartisan Battle Against CBDCs: Financial Privacy vs Global Adoption in 2023

Sunset-lit political chessboard, contrasting figures discussing CBDCs, dollar and digital currency symbols, looming shadows of surveillance, intense color scheme denoting conflict and anxiety, futuristic skyline backdrop, smoky air of uncertainty, mood of intense debate.

US lawmakers are making headlines this week, with the introduction of a bipartisan bill aiming to block the Federal Reserve from issuing a central bank digital currency (CBDC). Republican Rep. French Hill of Arkansas and Democratic Rep. Jake Auchincloss of Massachusetts collaborated on the Power of the Mint Act, marking the first such effort in Congress to prevent the central bank from launching a CBDC.

Supporters of the bill argue that Americans have a right to financial privacy. As stated by Hill, the bill aims to protect civil liberties, reinforce the role of the dollar as the global reserve currency, and prevent a surveillance state over everyday Americans’ transactions.

CBDCs have faced some backlash in recent years. While advocates argue that CBDCs can offer better financial services, particularly to underserved populations, critics maintain that such currencies could erode privacy and enable government surveillance of citizens’ financial activities. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis recently signed a bill banning CBDCs, making Florida the first state to take such a stance.

The movement against CBDCs has also gained traction among other influential figures. Republican Sen. Ted Cruz and Rep. Tom Emmer have introduced their bills aimed at preventing the Federal Reserve from issuing a CBDC directly to individuals.

Despite the opposition, the interest in CBDCs remains strong around the globe. The number of countries exploring CBDCs has jumped from 35 in 2020 to 114, according to the Atlantic Council’s CBDC tracker. The organization predicts that the momentum will continue, with over 20 countries planning significant steps towards piloting a CBDC in 2023.

Countries like Australia, Thailand, Brazil, India, South Korea, and Russia have expressed intent to continue or begin pilot testing in 2023. It is also anticipated that the European Central Bank (ECB) will likely commence pilot testing next year.

As the debate surrounding CBDCs intensifies, it remains unclear how this new chapter in digital currency will unfold. Will the drive for financial inclusion and efficient transactions triumph over the concerns of privacy and surveillance? Whatever the outcome, one thing is certain: the conversation around CBDCs has just begun, and proponents and skeptics alike have plenty to consider as they stake out their positions on this contentious issue.

Source: Cryptonews

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