One of the House of Representatives’ most prominent cryptocurrency advocates proposed an act against the Federal Reserve’s digital-dollar proposals.
- U.S. Representative Tom Emmer (R-MN) introduced the “CBDC Anti-Surveillance State Act” on Wednesday.
- The proposed bill prohibits the Federal Reserve from issuing central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) or digital currency, restricts the Fed’s ability to affect monetary policy and control the economy, and requires additional transparency.
- Recent discussion of a U.S. digital dollar has created surveillance and privacy concerns. Rep. Emmer’s bill addresses criticism from crypto enthusiasts that the government would inevitably abuse the technology.
- The new bill has support from at least nine Republicans and zero Democrats. Representative Barry Loudermilk (R-GA) and Representative Andy Biggs (R-AZ) have released statements promoting the bill. “These unelected bureaucrats are driving us to an authoritarian state,” says Biggs.
- Representative Emmer proposed similar legislation in early 2022 that was not passed, Decrypt reports.
Why It’s News
The idea of a new federal digital dollar is not new. Several foreign governments—including China, Turkey, Nigeria, and the UK—have experimented with the concept of a controlled national digital currency. As we previously reported, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has encouraged the idea, arguing that federal departments should test to see “if CBDC is determined to be in the national interest.”
The Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Innovation Center is already underway with a 12-week pilot program for a CBDC.
The idea is highly scrutinized by cryptocurrency evangelists who argue that such an idea would provide few of the benefits of decentralized currency. More concerningly, a digital dollar would allow the federal government to track every dollar in the financial system and even limit purchases in certain circumstances—creating new avenues for illegal surveillance and monetary restrictions.
“Today, I introduced the CBDC Anti-Surveillance State Act to halt efforts of unelected bureaucrats in Washington DC from stripping Americans of their right to financial privacy,” says Representative Emmer.
“Any digital version of the dollar must uphold our American values of privacy, individual sovereignty, and free market competitiveness. Anything less opens the door to the development of a dangerous surveillance tool,” he continues.