The two presidential candidates believe that FedNow is the first step towards establishing a CBDC that imperils privacy and autonomy.
According to presidential aspirants Ron DeSantis and Robert F. Kennedy Jr., a central bank digital currency would be made possible by the FedNow payments system.
The nephew of former president John F. Kennedy, Democrat RFK Jr., raised concerns about CBDCs in a Twitter thread on April 11 by labeling them the “ultimate instruments for societal monitoring and control” and challenging the Fed’s assurances that FedNow wouldn’t be used to assist a CBDC:
“The claim that FedNow is not the first step toward a CBDC would be more easily digestible were we not aware of the Biden administration’s steady barrage of hostile broadsides against cryptocurrencies.”
When this bubble invariably busts, he said, cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin “offer the people an escape route from the splatter zone,” He charged that Joe Biden’s government was “colluding with the banksters to keep us all locked in the bubble of profiteering and control.”
The claim that FedNow is not the first step toward a CBDC would be more easily digestible were we not aware of the Biden administration’s steady barrage of hostile broadsides against cryptocurrencies.— Robert F. Kennedy Jr (@RobertKennedyJr) April 10, 2023
Between 2008-22, the Fed partnered with a handful of big banks to print $10…
RFK Jr. said a week ago that CBCDs “grease the slippery slope to financial servitude and political dictatorship” and that he has been harshly critical of them. RFK Jr. submitted his campaign paperwork on April 5.
To accelerate transfers between financial institutions and enterprises and offer a government-backed alternative to comparable networks offered by the private sector, FedNow is a 24/7 rapid payments system scheduled to debut in July.
The Fed has downplayed rumors that the system would be combined with a CBDC. It stated that “no decision” had been taken to issue a CBDC in response to a string of frequently asked questions on April 8 and that it “would not do so without explicit backing from Congress and the executive branch, ideally in the form of a particular enabling statute.”
Florida’s Republican Governor DeSantis said it is “not only ‘ideal’ that big policy changes need express permission from Congress; it is legally essential” in a tweet on April 11 in response to the Fed’s assertion.
It is not merely “ideal” that major changes in policy receive specific authorization from Congress; it is constitutionally required.— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) April 10, 2023
Unaccountable institutions cannot impose a CBDC on Americans. They will tell us that CBDC won’t be abused but we are wise enough to know better.… https://t.co/OqJ27Lym2L
Klein said a CBDC wouldn’t further invade people’s privacy since financial companies are already compelled to submit transaction data by current anti-money laundering and anti-terrorism funding regulations.
He claimed that DeSantis was mistaken in believing that a central bank digital currency would need more reporting than a commercial bank digital currency would.
On April 11, Klein again talked with AFP Fact Check and reiterated that FedNow’s sole goal is expediting the Fed payment rails.
Klein stated that using a CBDC or a Visa card had “no difference in privacy or monitoring” and that FedNow and CBDCs “have nothing to do with one another.”