DeSantis goes after digital currencies in an effort to ban federal efforts

Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) is urging Florida lawmakers to pass a bill that would ban a federal digital currency in his state, calling it an attempt to push “woke ideology,” the Orlando Authority reported. Sentinel.

At a news conference on Monday, Desantis said he opposes a plan by the Biden administration to explore whether the US government should create a central bank digital currency (CBDC), which would essentially issue a digital version of currency that the in the same way as ordinary dollars.

While no CBDC has yet to be created by the federal government, DeSantis and other Republican lawmakers oppose the idea.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks after being sworn in to begin his second term at an inauguration ceremony outside the old Capitol on January 3, 2023 in Tallahassee, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

DeSantis said at the press conference that establishing a CBDC would allow the government to spy on Americans and monitor their behavior.

“What do they want to do here? If you are going to buy too much gas, are you not allowed to use it to make a transaction? Who knows? Maybe they won’t let you buy a gun,” DeSantis said.

This follows the Treasury Department’s announcement earlier this month that it was developing technology that would create a federal digital currency, a move that has divided lawmakers on the issue.

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said his agency will take no action to create a CBDC unless Congress authorizes it to go ahead.

But the agency’s undersecretary for internal finance, Nellie Liang, said the department is taking steps to be ready for such a system if and when Congress gives the green light to proceed.

“Even as policy deliberations continue, we are engaged in the technological development of a CBDC so that we can make rapid progress if a CBDC were determined to be in the national interest,” said Liang.

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