U.S. House Passes Bill Banning Federal Reserve CBDC


In a largely partisan vote, the U.S. House of Representatives has moved to prohibit the Federal Reserve from launching a central bank digital currency (CBDC). The bill, known as the CBDC Anti-Surveillance State Act, was introduced by Majority Whip Tom Emmer (R-Minn.), with concerns raised by Republicans regarding the potential for a U.S. CBDC to infringe on Americans’ privacy and autonomy.

Democrats, on the other hand, argued during the debate preceding Thursday’s vote that these concerns were exaggerated and that banning the development of a digital dollar would hinder innovation and research in the public sector. Ultimately, the bill received support from 213 Republicans and three Democrats, while 192 Democrats opposed it.

This vote stands in stark contrast to the bipartisan support witnessed the day before, when 71 Democrats joined 208 Republicans in passing the Financial Innovation and Technology for the 21st Century Act. This bill, focused on crypto market structure, aims to grant the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission increased authority over digital assets’ spot market and delineate the Securities and Exchange Commission’s approach to the sector.

The passage of the FIT21 Act was celebrated by industry stakeholders as a significant milestone, signaling growing recognition of the crypto industry’s importance in the United States. Kristin Smith, head of the Blockchain Association, described it as a “watershed moment” for the crypto sector, while Nicole Valentine, director of FinTech at the Milken Institute, hailed it as a “welcome step.”

However, both the market structure bill and the anti-CBDC legislation face uncertain prospects in the Senate, where neither has a clear counterpart. With half of Congress lacking a companion for either piece of legislation, it appears likely that both bills may stall in the Senate, limiting their potential impact on the regulatory landscape surrounding cryptocurrencies.

Featured Image: Freepik

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