Former US congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard has critiqued central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) at the Bitcoin (BTC) 2023 conference in Miami.
The Democrat from Hawaii blamed President Joe Biden’s administration for researching the viability of the coin, known widely as the centralized digital dollar, warning listeners of the risks.
“The Biden administration’s move toward implementing a CBDC is its latest effort towards exerting control and taking away our freedom,” Gabbard said.
Highlighting the possibility of the CBDC being used to record transactions on a public ledger, Gabbard agreed with the recent statement made by Florida’s governor Ron DeSantis (who banned CBDCs in the state) and suggested they could also be used to surveil and control American citizens.
“By having this power – they say they would never use it – they would have the power to control what we buy, how much of it, what we’re not allowed to buy and ultimately [freeze] our accounts,” continued Gabbard.
“No matter how many flowery words they use to deny that there is ill intent … no matter how many times they say, ‘Hey this is for your own good’ … ultimately, we know this is about their insatiable desire and mission for total control,” she former politician said.
“They want to be able to surveil every aspect of our lives, to take note of every purchase we make, small or large,” she added.
Gabbard and DeSantis are not the only politicians with concerns about the introduction of CBDC. In March, Texas senator Ted Cruz raised similar concerns regarding financial surveillance and instigated a bill to stop the US Federal Reserve from implementing the coin.
According to the Atlantic Council, over 100 countries worldwide are looking to adopt a CBDC, 11 countries have already implemented their currency, and more than half of the G20 economies are already in the process of developing the coin.
Additionally, over 250 million people can use China’s digital yuan – a digital currency developed by the People's Bank of China – and experts believe the country’s earlier adoption of CBDCs has since spurred the Biden administration's interest in pursuing a digital dollar.
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