A U.S. lawmaker has introduced a bill in Congress that would bar the Federal Reserve from issuing central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) directly to individuals. “It’s worth noting that the Fed does not and should not have the authority to provide retail bank accounts,” he stressed.
Bill introduced to bar the Fed from issuing CBDC directly to consumers
U.S. Congressman Tom Emer (MN-06) announced Wednesday that he has “introduced a bill that would prohibit the Federal Reserve from issuing central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) directly to individuals.”
He explained that countries like China “developed CBDCs that fundamentally ignore the benefits and protections of cash.”
By contrast, he stressed that U.S. digital currency policy must protect financial privacy, maintain the dominance of the dollar, and foster innovation. Otherwise, the Fed could “mobilize to become a retail bank, collect users’ personally identifiable information and track their transactions indefinitely,” the lawmaker warned.
Emer further warned:
Not only would this CBDC model centralize Americans’ financial information, making them vulnerable, but it could also be used as a surveillance tool that Americans can never tolerate from their own government.
“Requiring users to open an account with the Federal Reserve to access a U.S. CBDC would put the Fed down an insidious path similar to China’s digital authoritarianism,” the congressman continued.
Rep. Emmer said:
Notably, the Fed does not and should not have the authority to provide retail bank accounts.
He further emphasized that “any CBDC implemented by the Fed must be open, permissionless and private.”
“To maintain the dollar’s status as the world’s reserve currency in the digital age, the United States must lead with a posture that prioritizes innovation over competition with the private sector,” the congressman concluded.
Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve has yet to release a report on its CBDC work that it promised to publish last year. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said earlier this week that the report would be released “within a few weeks.”
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