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The North Carolina House of Representatives unanimously passed legislation aimed at banning payments to the US state using central bank digital currency, or CBDC.
In a May 3 vote, 118 members of the state legislature agreed to pass House Bill 690, with only two representatives absent and none voting against the bill. The latest version of the law aims to prevent individuals from using CBDCs for any payments to the government, and also to prevent the Federal Reserve from using North Carolina as a potential testing ground for its own CBDC pilot project.
North Carolina lawmakers introduced the bill to the House of Representatives in April, where it remained in committee until it was read and voted in full. The legislation proposed amending the bylaws to require that “neither a government agency nor a general court” accept payments using a CBDC or participate in the Fed’s testing of a digital dollar.
BREAKING: #NorthCarolina House Unanimously Passes HB690: Banning Payments in #CBDC‘s & Prohibiting NC Participation in Any CBDC Testing
-Referred to State Senate
-Thank you all who worked on this in record time#NCPOL #Bitcoin #multistate #tech pic.twitter.com/ReWJGZ82XB
— Dan Spuller (@DanSpuller) May 4, 2023
Legislative pressure against the CBDC seems to be getting more politically relevant ahead of the 2024 elections in the United States. In March, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who was widely expected to throw his hat into the ring ahead of the U.S. presidential race, called for a CBDC ban in the country, saying the technology was designed to “surveillance on Americans and control their behavior.”
Related: CBDCs could be ‘easily weaponized’ to spy on US citizens: congressman
At the federal level, Congressman Tom Emmer and Senator Ted Cruz have introduced separate bills aimed at limiting the Fed’s power over CBDCs or proposing an outright ban. Robert F. Kennedy Jr., another US presidential candidate, said that CBDCs could “grease the slippery slope to financial slavery and political tyranny.”
The North Carolina bill will go to the Senate, where it must be passed before it is signed into law or vetoed by Gov. Roy Cooper. On May 2, the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners in North Carolina also approved a one-year moratorium on cryptocurrency mining.