Trump vows to block creation of digital dollar

Former President Trump vowed Wednesday night to block the creation of a federal digital currency, calling it a “dangerous threat to freedom.”

“Tonight, I am also making another promise to protect Americans from government tyranny,” Trump said at a rally in Portsmouth, N.H. “As your president, I will never allow the creation of a central bank digital currency.”

“Such a currency would give a federal government, our federal government, the absolute control over your money,” he added. “They could take your money. You wouldn’t even know it was gone. This would be a dangerous threat to freedom.”

A central bank digital currency (CBDC) is a digital version of a currency issued by a central bank. In the U.S., this would entail the Federal Reserve issuing a digital dollar that could be used the same way as a regular dollar.

While President Biden called for additional discussion and research into a CBDC system in a September 2022 executive order, Fed Chair Jerome Powell said in March that the Fed and a Treasury-led interagency working group had not yet made “any real decisions” on the issue.

Powell has also previously emphasized that the central bank would not move forward with a digital dollar without approval from Congress.

Even so, the prospect of a federal digital currency has still drawn stiff opposition from Republican politicians. Republican presidential candidate and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill banning the use of CBDCs in the Sunshine State in May.

As he urged Florida lawmakers to pass the legislation in March, DeSantis argued that CBDCs are part of an effort to push “woke ideology” and could be used by the federal government to spy on Americans and control their behavior.

“What are they going to want to do here? If you go and buy too much gasoline, they won’t allow you to use this to make a transaction? Who knows? Maybe they won’t let you purchase a firearm,” DeSantis said at the time.