Florida Governor Ron DeSantis introduced new legislation conformant with Florida’s Uniform Commercial Code to shield residents from a national central bank digital currency.
DeSantis has called upon like-minded governors to combat “surveillance and control” from the federal government and adopt similar legislation under its commercial codes.
DeSantis’ Plea for Anti-CBDC Laws Fall on Deaf Ears
If passed, the law would also protect Florida residents from a global digital currency issued by a foreign central bank.
DeSantis emphasized that Florida will not support the erosion of financial freedom.
Tarren Bragdon of the Foundation for Government Accountability said he supported the bill and was against an “out-of-control” government bureaucracy.
The U.S. Federal Reserve recently announced that its FedNow payments system would launch in July 2023.
Widely believed to be a precursor to a programmable CBDC, FedNow will aim to settle payments quickly between merchants, consumers, and banks. The settlements do not use blockchain technology.
Fed Vice Chair Lael Brainard said in May last year that FedNow performs almost the same function as a CBDC. However, a CBDC would be legal tender rather than a real-time payments system.
Participants in the pilot need to undergo a customer testing and certification process.
Politicians Support Centralized Digital Currencies Bills in 20 States
Unlike DeSantis, politicians in about 20 other states, including New Hampshire, North Dakota, Texas, and California, support pro-CBDC laws.
South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem recently opposed House Bill 1193, which advocates the creation of a federal CBDC.
The bill tries to amend parts of the Uniform Commercial Code, a collection of non-federal laws active in all 50 U.S. states.
Modifications to the bill do not establish a CBDC nor ask for one in the future. Rather, the changes make it easier for state residents to use a programmable, government-sanctioned CBDC for specific commercial activities without violating the Commercial Code.
It would also define when a resident would have “control over electronic money,” granting the government the option of programming the transfer away from a person at its discretion.
In addition, the bill prevents private cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum from being recognized as electronic money.
President Joe Biden announced in September 2022 policy goals for a potential CBDC, instructing officials from the U.S. Treasury Department and National Security to share progress updates.
Testifying before the House Financial Services Committee on March 8, 2023, Fed Chair Jerome Powell said that the agencies had not agreed on a national CBDC.
“What we’re doing is experimenting in kind of early stage experimentation. How would this work? Does it work? What’s the best technology? What’s the most efficient?”
Last year, The New York Fed ran a 12-week CBDC pilot with several corporations, including Wells Fargo and Mastercard.
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