Former President and front-runner in the Republican leadership race, Donald Trump, has promised to ban the creation of a central bank digital currency (CBDC) during a campaign stop in New Hampshire.
“As your president, I will never allow the creation of a central bank digital currency,” Trump said on stage, joined by crypto-friendly former candidate Vivek Ramaswamy, who recently suspended his campaign.
“This would be a dangerous threat to freedom, and I will stop it from coming to America,” he continued. “Such a currency would give a federal government, absolute control over your money. They could take your money, and you wouldn’t even know it was gone.”
CBDCs are digital versions or tokenized versions of cash that are issued and regulated by central banks that may or may not use blockchain as an underlying technology.
While there’s currently no proposal from the Federal Reserve to introduce a CBDC, this hasn’t stopped it from becoming a hot issue in U.S. politics, particularly on the campaign trail.
CBDCs have emerged as one of the hottest issues for Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ office, generating more public interest than the usual wedge issues of gun rights and abortion, CoinDesk reported last May.
“If CBDCs are the encroachment on our civil liberties that the majority of people believe they are, we don’t have time to wait,” Samuel Armes, of the Florida Blockchain Business Association, said at the time. “At the end of the day, if the Feds want something, they’re going to try to get it. So it’s our job to try and stop it.”
Armes and the Florida Blockchain Business Association helped draft Florida’s anti-CBDC bill, which recently passed the state’s Senate.
In a November report, Bank of America said that while central banks are exploring CBDCs globally, the issuance of a U.S. digital dollar by the Federal Reserve is unlikely in the near term.