By Kevin Helms
A U.S. lawmaker has introduced a bill in Congress to prohibit the Federal Reserve from issuing a central bank digital currency (CBDC) directly to individuals. “It is important to note that the Fed does not, and should not, have the authority to offer retail bank accounts,” he stressed.
Bill Introduced to Prohibit the Fed From Issuing CBDC Directly to Consumers
U.S. Congressman Tom Emmer (MN-06) announced Wednesday that he has “introduced a bill prohibiting the Federal Reserve from issuing a central bank digital currency (CBDC) directly to individuals.”
He explained that countries like China “develop CBDCs that fundamentally omit the benefits and protections of cash.”
In contrast, he stressed that the U.S. digital currency policy must protect financial privacy, maintain the dollar’s dominance, and cultivate innovation. Otherwise, the Fed could “mobilize itself into a retail bank, collect personally identifiable information on users, and track their transactions indefinitely,” the lawmaker cautioned.
Emmer further warned:
Not only would this CBDC model centralize Americans’ financial information, leaving it vulnerable to attack, but it could also be used as a surveillance tool that Americans should never tolerate from their own government.
“Requiring users to open up an account at the Fed to access a U.S. CBDC would put the Fed on an insidious path akin to China’s digital authoritarianism,” the congressman continued.
Rep. Emmer opined:
It is important to note that the Fed does not, and should not, have the authority to offer retail bank accounts.
He further emphasized that “any CBDC implemented by the Fed must be open, permissionless, and private.”
The congressman concluded: “In order to maintain the dollar’s status as the world’s reserve currency in a digital age, it is important that the United States lead with a posture that prioritizes innovation and does not aim to compete with the private sector.”
Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve still has not published a report on its CBDC work which it promised to release last year. Fed Chair Jerome Powell said earlier this week that the report will be published “within weeks.”
Do you think the Fed should issue a CBDC directly to individuals? Let us know in the comments section below.