On Friday, the United States presidential hopeful Robert Kennedy Jr. stood in favor of Bitcoin and criticized central bank digital currencies (CBDCs). In recent times, several lawmakers have risen against the CBDC opting to prefer a more decentralized structure like cryptocurrencies,
In a Twitter thread, the Democrat lawmaker opined that currency digitization has already given the government unprecedented powers to surveil and control economic life. He believes CBDCs would further “magnify the government’s power to suffocate dissent by cutting off access to funds with a keystroke.”
To explain his stance, Kennedy said Bitcoin allows people to conduct transactions without government interference. He also described Bitcoin as a “lifesaver for people’s movements around the world.”
Without CBDCs, Kennedy highlighted how governments have financially censored their political enemies. He explains that this tends to play out under authoritarian regimes, but now Western countries like Canada have also adopted this approach. To explain this, Kennedy stated an example of how the Canadian government froze the bank accounts of over 200 individuals because of their protests against the vaccine mandate.
According to Kennedy, this incident outlines the possibility that the U.S. could someday freeze an individual’s bank account because of their political views and comments on social media. He added that:
After all, in 2010, Paypal, Visa, and Mastercard suspended WikiLeaks, at the behest of the US State Department.
However, Kennedy’s against CBDCs is unsurprising, as he once described them as a tool for “financial slavery and political tyranny.” Just a few days back, he stood up for crypto mining and called Biden’s 30% crypto mining tax “a bad idea.” He suggested that the US economy will be more resilient if Bitcoin and other currencies are available along with the U.S. Dollar.
Meanwhile, an increasing number of U.S. politicians have taken a stand against CBDCs, citing the risk of financial censorship, freedom, and privacy. In a recent media press release, Ron DeSantis, governor of Florida and a potential candidate for the US presidency said that the state would soon move against any kind of a CBDC and called them a weapon of control. He also suggested that the state is actively approaching legislation that would outlaw CBDCs in the state.
Several U.S. states like Florida, North Dakota, and North Carolina have introduced bills to ban the national digital currency. On Wednesday, North Carolina’s House of Representatives unanimously passed a bill that seeks to prevent the state’s agencies and institutions from accepting payments in CBDCs. The bill also bans the state from participating in any pilot tests CBDCs.
While several crypto community members have appreciated this ban, some stakeholders have warned that the anti-CBDC moves could hurt Bitcoin. The Bitcoin Policy Institute wrote that South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem’s decision to veto a CBDC bill affected Bitcoin. According to the Institute, the bill contained provisions that expanded the definitions and protections for Bitcoin.
However, it is important to note that with the increasing opposition to the digital Dollar, the topic has become bipartisan as now lawmakers from both parties are sharing similar opinions. In addition, the general elections scheduled for next year might also have a big role to play in what the future holds for CBDCs and crypto in the US.