(LifeSiteNews) — Republican presidential candidate and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has declared that he will refuse to allow central bank digital currency (CBDC) in the United States if he becomes president.
“If I am the President, on day one we will nix Central Bank Digital Currency. Done. Dead. Not happening in this country,” DeSantis told Tucker Carlson during a Blaze Media Republican primary presidential forum interview when asked about his concern that “the next economic disruption” will lead to a CBDC.
Unlike other forms of digital currency used today, CBDCs require that individuals open bank accounts directly with central banks such as the Federal Reserve, giving governments the power to control citizens’ access to money.
DeSantis alluded to the statement by U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell that “ideally” a law would be passed to authorize a CBDC “rather than us trying to interpret our law to enable this.”
“No, no, no,” said DeSantis, emphasizing that, according to the Constitution, it is not only “ideal” to have a law passed to authorize a new form of currency — it is required, as the power of issuing currency is given to Congress.
While the Florida governor said he doesn’t think Congress will authorize a CBDC, he believes the Federal Reserve may try to impose it “unilaterally.”
He suggested a law banning CBDCs could be passed to help circumvent any such attempts by the Federal Reserve, as has already been accomplished in Florida.
“What we did in Florida is we basically passed the law that says we do not recognize CBDC in the State of Florida, and I think other states are probably going to follow suit. That will jam their ability to do it through executive action,” DeSantis said.
He went on to explain the aims of those pushing for CBDCs and the dangers tied up with the form of currency.
“They want to get rid of cash, they want no cryptocurrency, and they want this to be the sole form of legal tender. And they have said this publicly at Davos,” said DeSantis, referring to the Switzerland site of annual World Economic Forum (WEF) meetings.
He then referred to the recent admission at a WEF meeting that CBDCs can allow governments to prohibit undesirable purchases “like fuel and ammunition.”
Indeed, at the WEF Annual Meeting of the New Champions in Tianjin, China on June 28, Eswar Prasad, senior professor of trade policy at Cornell University, confessed that he sees such government control over purchases as a positive development, to be welcomed.
“You could have, as I argue in my book, a potentially better — some might see it as a darker world — where the government decides that units of central bank money can be used to purchase some things but not other things that it deems less desirable, like say ammunition or drugs or pornography or something of the sort,” Prasad said. “And that is very powerful in terms of the use of a CBDC.”
DeSantis underscored the fact that this would amount to a social credit system, which would destroy Americans’ freedoms.
“So the minute you give them the power to do this they are going to impose a social credit system on this country. CBDC is a massive threat to American liberty,” he said.
At a press conference in May, just before signing legislation banning CBDCs in Florida, DeSantis said CBDCs would result in “a massive transfer of power from individual consumers to a central authority,” something “fundamentally antithetical to a free society.”
DeSantis pledged, assuming he is elected president: “On January 20th, 2025, it goes to the ash heap of history in this country.”
The U.S. government is currently working on the development of a CBDC. President Joe Biden’s Executive Order 14067, issued March 9, 2022, declared that his administration “places the highest urgency on research and development efforts into the potential design and deployment options of a United States CBDC,” and called for an analysis of its “potential implications.”
While White House announcements do not indicate when such a CBDC would be developed and implemented, financial adviser Joe Brown is warning that the infrastructure for a U.S. CBDC is already being quietly developed in the form of a digital instant payments service called FedNow.
On March 15, the Federal Reserve announced that FedNow would launch this month. FedNow allows “24/7 settlement … that happens instantly from bank to bank.”
“This infrastructure bypasses a lot of the need for the current banking infrastructure, which is the purpose of a central bank digital currency,” Brown recently explained on his video blog.
“Eventually, every single economic participant has an account directly with the Federal Reserve, the central bank, and then you don’t need any of the decentralized nodes of the financial system, the previously existing banks.”
“This transforms the purpose of the entire banking system really into infrastructure for the CBDC,” continued Brown, noting that it would “centralize everything under one roof.”
“And once that system is built, once all the kinks are worked out of the system … then they will have the foundation in place to build the Gen 2, the Version 2 CBDC on top of it. The only thing that would be left to do would be to have everybody open an account directly with the Fed.”
Brown believes the foundational CBDC technology is being rolled out “slowly” and independently of a full CBDC so that it doesn’t “look like a power grab.”
“Otherwise, everyone would reject it. Everyone in their right minds would look at this thing and say, ‘Absolutely not,’” noted Brown, adding that the gradual implementation is also needed to test its component parts in “baby steps” and make sure the CBDC doesn’t fail “flat on [its] face.”
“But make no mistake, a central bank digital currency is coming and it looks like this new FedNow service is just the launch of the infrastructure for launching the full version of the CBDC later on,” Brown warned.