In a press conference held on March 20, Ron DeSantis, the governor of Florida, who many expect to launch a presidential bid in 2024, has called for the banning of the digital dollar.
Standing in front of a podium with the slogan "Big Brother's Digital Dollar," DeSantis spoke out against the issuance and control of a central bank digital currency (CBDC) by the Federal Reserve in the United States, arguing that the initiative would give "more power" to the government. He cited concerns about inflation in the country, the Fed's increase in interest rates, and pressure on banks as examples of government policies that directly affect American consumers.
"[A CBDC] gives the government a direct view into all consumer activities," said the Florida governor. "Any way they can get into society to push their agenda, they will. So, what central bank digital currency is about is watching Americans and controlling their behavior."
DeSantis largely dismissed the arguments in favor of the Federal Reserve issuing a digital dollar - environmental concerns and reaching the underbanked - without citing evidence. He pointed to China's launch of its digital yuan in an attempt to "control citizens' behavior, allowing for surveillance of spending habits and cutting off access to goods and services," as well as how the governments of the Bahamas and Nigeria have handled CBDCs.
"You're opening up a huge Pandora's box and you're giving a central bank tremendous, tremendous amounts of power," he warned.
The call for a ban on a digital dollar by a potential presidential candidate adds fuel to the ongoing debate over the feasibility and potential implications of CBDCs. As the United States considers the issuance of a digital dollar, DeSantis's remarks will likely spark further discussion and scrutiny of the issue.
What do you think, are CBDCs the next step in finance or just another tool to control the population?