Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Monday new legislation to protect Florida residents from federally controlled Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC).
“The Biden administration’s efforts to inject a Centralized Bank Digital Currency is about surveillance and control,” said DeSantis at a Monday press conference.
“Today’s announcement will protect Florida consumers and businesses from the reckless adoption of a ‘centralized digital dollar’ which will stifle innovation and promote government-sanctioned surveillance,” he said. “Florida will not side with economic central planners; we will not adopt policies that threaten personal economic freedom and security.”
A key part of DeSantis’ legislation would expressly prohibit the use of a federally adopted CBDC as money within Florida’s Uniform Commercial Code (UCC).
In Maine, however, the legislature will soon be considering legislation that would do just the opposite.
LD 91, “An Act to Adopt the National 2022 Amendments to the Uniform Commercial Code,” would redefine “money” to exclude bitcoin while including future CBDCs. The bill was introduced by Rep. Stephen Moriarty (D-Cumberland).
The Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) is a comprehensive set of standardized laws governing commercial transactions in the United States.
It was created to promote consistency and uniformity in business practices across state lines, making it easier for businesses to operate in multiple states.
The UCC was first published in 1952, and it has since been adopted, with some variations, by all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and several U.S. territories.
The UCC covers a wide range of topics related to commercial transactions, such as the sale of goods, negotiable instruments, bank deposits and collections, letters of credit, investment securities, and secured transactions.
Moriarty’s bill has not garnered much attention outside of the Maine Wire, but it could represent one of the most significant financial reforms under consideration in the current legislature.
In an interview with the Maine Wire, Moriarty said his proposal would likely result in a study commission to examine how the UCC 2022 national amendments can best be integrated into Maine’s existing statutes.
“The real goal is to tailor our commercial laws such that we, as a country consisting of 50 jurisdictions, can function in commercial transactions with a new reality, or a new means of doing so,” said Moriarty.
Moriarty, an attorney in his non-legislator life, said the UCC amendments require substantial legal work in order to incorporate with existing Maine statutes, and that’s why the bill was introduced last year as a concept draft. He expects LD 91 will result in a study commission that will work on this task in preparation for a future session or legislature.
“These folks that spent three years writing this must have known what they were doing, and what the issues were, and the concerns were, and I’m sure they had a view toward the future in the long run because nobody wants to go through this process what, every two, three, four, five years,” he said.
A CBDC would be a digital form of a country’s sovereign currency that issued and regulated by its central bank. In theory, it would represent a digital equivalent of the physical banknotes and coins in circulation, and it would be designed to operate alongside traditional forms of money. Advocates for CBDCs say they are intended to leverage digital technology to enhance the efficiency, security, and accessibility of the monetary system.
CBDCs differ from Bitcoin, which is decentralized and not regulated by any central authority. While Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies like Ethereum operate on decentralized networks and rely on cryptographic algorithms for consensus and security, CBDCs are centralized and governed by the issuing central bank.
This centralization allows for greater control over the money supply, as well as the ability to implement and enforce monetary policy more effectively.
Opponents of CBDCs believe they will be abused to provide a central government with a powerful tool to surveil and control its citizens.