Trump blasts the idea of a digital dollar

Former US President Donald Trump came out against the idea of a central bank-issued digital dollar, saying he wanted to “protect Americans from government tyranny”.

“As your president, I will never allow the creation of a central bank digital currency,” Trump said at a campaign stop in New Hampshire on Wednesday night. “Such a currency would give a federal government — our federal government — absolute control over your money. They could take your money and you wouldn’t even know it’s gone.”

Any proposal for a digital currency issued by the US Federal Reserve would face significant obstacles, but has already generated opposition from conservatives, who claim it would allow the federal government to track purchases and use that power to ban products. Proponents of the idea say it will speed digital transactions and make it easier to detect fraud and money laundering.

The Fed has said it’s studying a potential digital dollar but hasn’t made a decision on whether to recommend the establishment of one. The central bank has also said it won’t move ahead without the backing of lawmakers and the executive branch. Neither the Biden White House, nor congress has done that.

Yet Trump’s pledge to prevent any digital currency adds to his populist appeal and follows a similar campaign promise by his one of his chief rivals, Florida governor Ron DeSantis.

The campaign pledge came two days after Trump won the Iowa caucuses, prompting fourth-place finisher Vivek Ramaswamy to drop out and endorse Trump. Ramaswamy was an advocate of mass deregulation of the cryptocurrency industry and opponent of CBDCs, and Trump thanked Ramaswamy for his endorsement as he outlined his own plans.


Trump also said he would prevent the so-called de-banking of customers for their political beliefs. There are few examples of that practice in the US but a UK bank has been accused of closing the account of Nigel Farage, the right-wing populist leader who campaigned with Trump in Iowa. “That will never happen while I am your president,” Trump said.

Trump has been rolling out an economic agenda that advisers say will attract the support of working-class voters. His Wednesday night promises are likely to resonate in New Hampshire, whose “Live Free or Die” motto reflects a small-government, libertarian bent. The state will hold the first-in-the-nation presidential primary on 23 January.

Read: Time for central bank digital currencies to prove their worth

Trump’s advisers have also said the former president was leaning against lowering the corporate tax rate and would proposing to make the individual tax cuts that authorised under his administration permanent.  — Stephanie Lai and Gregory Korte, with Ben Bain, (c) 2024 Bloomberg LP

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