In a significant development, the House Financial Services Committee has successfully passed the CBDC Anti-Surveillance State Act, a bill to prevent the Federal Reserve from issuing a central bank digital currency (CBDC).
Representative Tom Emmer, known for its pro-decentralized cryptocurrency stance, announced on X (formerly Twitter) that the legislation had received approval from the committee and is now set to proceed to a congressional vote.
CBDC Anti-Surveillance State Act Advances In Congress
Highlighting the broad support the bill has garnered, Emmer emphasized that it already enjoys backing from 60 members of Congress. Speaking about the committee’s decision, Emmer stressed the importance of halting the issuance of a financial surveillance tool that could undermine the American way of life.
He distinguished decentralized cryptocurrencies and CBDCs, describing the latter as a government-controlled programmable form of sovereign currency transacting on a digital ledger maintained by the government.
Emmer expressed concern that if a CBDC were not designed to emulate cash, it could enable the Federal Government to surveil and impose restrictions on American transactions.
Drawing parallels with China’s approach, where the Communist Party utilizes a CBDC to track user spending habits to create a social credit system, Emmer argued that the US government should not sacrifice American citizens’ right to financial privacy in exchange for a surveillance-oriented central bank digital currency.
The bill proposed by Emmer seeks to ensure that any digital currency issued by the US remains in the hands of the American people rather than being controlled by the administrative state.
It aims to uphold values of privacy, individual sovereignty, and free market competitiveness, reflecting American ideals, according to the congressman.
Emmer Urges Privacy In Central Bank Digital Currencies
Emmer emphasized the need for a future global digital economy that aligns with these principles, stating that a central bank digital currency that lacks openness, permissionless access, and privacy akin to cash would merely serve as a surveillance tool resembling those employed by the Chinese Communist Party.
As reported by Bitcoinist, the revised version of the bill introduces two significant changes from its previous iteration. Firstly, it prohibits the concept of “intermediated CBDCs,” which refers to CBDCs issued by the Federal Reserve but managed by retail banks and other financial institutions rather than directly controlled by the Fed.
Additionally, the updated version removes the requirement for the Federal Reserve to report any CBDC pilot programs or studies to Congress. Separate bills, such as the Digital Dollar Pilot Prevention Act introduced by Representative Alex Mooney, will address these matters.
The advancement of the CBDC Anti-Surveillance State Act in Congress represents a notable step in the ongoing discussions surrounding the potential issuance of a central bank digital currency in the United States.
With bipartisan support and a focus on preserving American values and privacy, the bill serves as a platform for further deliberations on the future of digital currency in the country.
Featured image from iStock, chart from TradingView.com