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News Report

US Congressman Tom Emmer Introduces CBDC Anti-Surveillance Act

2 mins
Updated by Kyle Baird

In Brief

  • The Congressman is concerned about the Fed's CBDC plans.
  • Campaigners are worried that the government will use it for surveillance.
  • Uncle Sam is way behind the rest of the world on CBDC development.
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Pro-crypto Republican Senator Tom Emmer has raised concerns about a potential American central bank digital currency (CBDC).

On Feb. 22, the Minnesota Congressman introduced the CBDC Anti-Surveillance Act. According to Emmer, the bill aims to “halt efforts of unelected bureaucrats in Washington from stripping Americans of their right to financial privacy.”

Tom Emmer is against the idea of the Federal Reserve issuing a CBDC. He believes that, just like in China, it will give the government unprecedented levels of financial control and surveillance capabilities.

He explained that the bill has three primary aims. The first is prohibiting the Fed from issuing a CBDC directly to anyone.

Secondly, it bars the Fed from “using a CBDC to implement monetary policy and control the economy.” Finally, it requires that there is full transparency to Congress and U.S. citizens central for the Fed’s CBDC projects.

U.S. Digital Dollar Concerns Mounting

Uncle Sam is way behind the rest of the world with its CBDC plans. Nevertheless, Emmer is among those concerned that the government could use it as a method of surveillance.

“Any digital version of the dollar must uphold our American values of privacy, individual sovereignty, and free market competitiveness. Anything less opens the door to the development of a dangerous surveillance tool.”

Furthermore, he added that there was a lot of support for the bill. Proponents of the proposed legislation included House Committee on Financial Services Vice-Chairman and newly appointed digital assets subcommittee Chairman French Hill.

Emmer began his campaign more than a year ago, urging the Fed not to issue a CBDC back in January 2022. At the time, he said, “we must prioritize blockchain technology with American characteristics, rather than mimic China’s digital authoritarianism out of fear.”

In July, Tom Emmer launched a scathing attack on the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and its Chairman, Gary Gensler. At the time, he accused the agency of using enforcement to expand its jurisdiction at the expense of public resources and trust. “Under Chair Gensler, the SEC has become a power-hungry regulator,” he said.

CBDCs Being Rolled Out Globally

The good news for anti-CBDC campaigners is that the United States lags way behind the rest of the world.

According to the Atlantic Council CBDC tracker, 11 countries have already launched a central bank digital currency. Furthermore, all of them are in the Caribbean, aside from Nigeria, which has put limits on cash.

Seventeen countries are running pilots, and 72 remain in the research and development phase.  


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