North Carolina’s House of Representatives unanimously passed a bill on Wednesday that would prevent the state’s agencies and institutions from accepting payments in central bank digital currencies (CBDCs). The bill also bans the state from participating in any pilot tests CBDCs. This move comes as lawmakers in the United States are increasingly opposing the issuance of a digital dollar. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has proposed similar legislation to ban CBDC payments in his state.
While some have indicated that the technology might enhance financial inclusion and lower costs for consumers, the Federal Reserve has stated that it will not issue a CBDC without written consent from Congress.
According to the bill’s sponsors, North Carolina Representatives Harry Warren and Mark Brody, the legislation aims to protect the state’s financial systems from the potential risks that CBDCs pose. “We must ensure that our state’s financial systems remain strong, stable, and reliable,” said Brody.
The passing of this bill comes as countries like China have already run pilots, and the European Union is nearing the end of a two-year experiment into a digital euro. However, North Carolina lawmakers seem to have a different approach towards cryptocurrencies.
Republican lawmakers in North Carolina are now taking a firm stance against CBDCs, citing concerns over privacy, individual autonomy, and free markets. The passing of this bill sends a clear message that North Carolina lawmakers are not ready to embrace the technology, despite its potential benefits.
Politicians like Rep. Tom Emmer (Republican) have said CBDCs could be weaponized as a political tool. The concept of a central bank digital currency (CBDC) poses a danger to American ideals of privacy, individual autonomy, and free markets. Emmer warned against the idea that the US would lag behind other countries that are creating their own CBDCs while speaking at a panel organized by the Cato Institute.
It remains to be seen whether other states in the US will follow North Carolina’s lead and pass similar legislation. However, with the increasing opposition to CBDCs in the US, it is clear that the digital currency landscape is rapidly evolving, and lawmakers will need to navigate these changes carefully.