Ron DeSantis, the Republican governor of Florida, is taking preemptive action to ensure that the much-talked-about digital replacement for the U.S. dollar never comes to his state.
Last week, he signed a new law that would ban the federal government from being able to use what’s known as CBDC, or the Central Bank Digital Currency, in Florida.
The law prohibits the federal government from using this digital currency by keeping it out of the state’s definition of what money is, which is located within the Uniform Commercial Code in Florida, according to DeSantis’ office. In addition, the bill bans any CBDC issued by a foreign government to “protect consumers against globalist efforts to adopt a worldwide digital currency.”
Many countries around the world are at least exploring the possibility of offering a CBDC as a way to keep up with the times, cut back on costs and streamline how currency is issued and used in their country and outside of their borders.
Opponents of such an idea say that there’s a big threat that if the U.S. currency went completely digital, it would be easy for the federal government to track every purchase that Americans made. Cash, meanwhile, is much harder to track once it’s issued, providing consumers privacy with how they spend their hard-earned money.
It’s not even about hiding illicit uses of money, either. It’s about retaining some sense of privacy with how you spend your money, without the government intruding and knowing where every cent that you spend is going.
Another major concern is that the government could actually have control over access to your money if it were digital. For instance, if they didn’t like purchases you made – or if they disagreed with public stances you have taken – they might have the ability to simply “turn off” your access to your money.
Another law that DeSantis signed recently follows that same idea, of preventing others from being able to track purchases.
This other law bans all companies that issue credit cards from using Merchant Category Codes that are specific to firearms. It also punishes companies that are caught using these codes with fines. They would essentially be in violation of consumer protections that the state of Florida provides over registries for gun owners.
In a statement about the laws he signed, DeSantis said:
“The government and large credit card companies should not have the power to shut off access to your hard-earned money because they disagree with your politics. Biden’s Central Bank Digital Currency aims to increase government control over people’s finances, and we will not allow it.
“In Florida, we value personal freedom and won’t allow self-interested elites to chip away at our liberty.”
Jimmy Patronics, the CFO of Florida, also warned against the political Left trying to weaponize the CBDC against their detractors. He said:
“It’s just another way for Floridians to have their vital financial information surveilled and controlled by the federal government. No one asked for this, and Florida won’t let it stand.”