Congressman Tom Emmer introduced a bill to bar the Fed from offering central bank digital currency (CBDC) directly to individuals.
Today, I introduced a bill prohibiting the Fed from issuing a central bank digital currency directly to individuals. Here’s why it matters: pic.twitter.com/S7pQ5rVc6n
— Tom Emmer (@RepTomEmmer) January 12, 2022
Emmer proposed amendments to the Federal Reserve Act: “the Federal Reserve Bank may not directly offer products and services to an individual, maintain an account on behalf of an individual, or issue CBDCs directly to an individual.”
According to the congressman, requiring citizens to open accounts with the Fed to access digital currency will be a “slippery slope, similar to Chinese authoritarianism.”
“As other countries, like China, develop CBDCs that fundamentally omit the benefits and protections of cash, it is more important than ever to ensure the United States’ digital currency policy protects financial privacy, maintains the dollar’s dominance, and cultivates innovation.”
Emmer suggested that Digital Dollar must maintain privacy like cash:
“Any CBDC implemented by the Fed must be open, permissionless, and private. This means that any digital dollar must be accessible to all, transact on a transparent blockchain, and maintain the privacy elements of cash.”
He said that To maintain the dollar’s status as the world’s reserve currency in a digital age, it is vital that the United States lead with a posture that prioritizes innovation and does not aim to compete with the private sector.
He also noted the risk of CBDC that can collect personally identifiable information on users and track their transactions indefinitely, which can be used for mass surveillance, so the agency “does not have and should not have” any such powers.
The bill has no co-authors yet. In the lower house of the US Congress, the Republican Party, to which Emmer belongs, is in the minority.
Earlier, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell promised to provide a report on the digital dollar in the coming weeks. Recall that in June 2021, Emmer called for the elimination of the possibility of control over citizens in the design of the digital dollar.