The Governor of Florida, Ron DeSantissigned a bill banning central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) in the state.
Bill SB-7054 prohibits the use of CBDCs as currency in Florida. It also prohibits the use of CBDCs issued by other governments and calls on other states to use their commercial codes to institute similar bans.
At a recent press conference, DeSantis highlighted his concerns about the potential use of CBDCs to control and surveil Americans.
He suggested the government could use CBDCs to prevent individuals from buying gasoline to fight global warming or determine how often someone buys guns.
“Anyone with a bit of common sense can see the danger this system would pose to Americans who want to exercise financial independence and want to be able to conduct their business without the government being informed of every transaction they make in real time. . .”
The bill, which changes state law to exclude CBDCs from the definition of money, passed with just one vote against during a session of the Florida House of Representatives.
DeSantis also claimed that the Biden administration is looking at CBDCs to weed out other types of digital assets like cryptocurrencies.
The governor of Florida had introduced this bill at the end of March.
At the time of his presentation, he said his intention was to “protect the citizens of Florida from the Biden administration’s militarization of the financial sector through a central bank digital currency.”
Constant momentum around CBDCs despite concerns
Florida’s decision to ban CBDCs comes as discussions about the development of CBDCs around the world continue to gain momentum.
Many central banks are planning to launch their digital currencies to modernize their economic system and provide better financial services to their citizens.
There People’s Bank of China is leading this movement after starting development of its e-CNY in 2014. The country has launched many digital yuan pilot projects in different provinces.
More recently, the coastal province of Jiangsu announced the launch of a platform that will allow citizens to pay school fees using the country’s CBDC.
Besides China, projects from a number of other countries, including South Korea, Japan, India and Russia, are either in the development or pilot phase.
However, some analysts have expressed concerns about the potential impact of CBDCs on privacy and financial independence.
Critics argue that CBDCs could provide a perfect tool for governments to control and track financial transactions, limiting people’s freedom to dispose of their money as they wish.
Moreover, given the characteristics of CBDCs in terms of traceability, governments could monitor citizens’ transactions and even use them to determine a person’s financial history, which could have negative consequences for some of them.