Candidates for president Robert F. Kennedy Jr. (RFK Jr.) and Ron DeSantis are protesting the FedNow payments system because they believe it will lead to the creation of a Central Bank Digital Currency. (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 constant barrage of hostile rhetoric, said Democrat RFK Jr., the nephew of former president John F. Kennedy Jr., in a thread on Twitter on April 11. He called CBDCs the “ultimate mechanisms for social surveillance and control.”
When this bubble invariably busts, he continued, cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin $30,114 “give the public an escape route from the splatter zone,” and he charged that Joe Biden’s government was “colluding with the banksters to keep us all trapped in the bubble of profiteering and control.”
A week ago, RFK Jr. said that CBCDs “grease the slippery slope to financial slavery and political tyranny” and that he has been harshly critical of them. RFK Jr. filed his campaign paperwork on April 5. With the purpose of accelerating transfers between financial institutions and enterprises and offering a government-backed alternative to comparable networks offered by the private sector, FedNow is a 24/7 rapid payments system that is scheduled to debut in July.
The Fed downplayed rumors that the system would be combined with a CBDC. In response to many commonly asked questions, it stated on April 8 that “no decision” had been made to issue a CBDC and that it “would not do so without clear support from Congress and the executive branch, ideally in the form of a specific authorizing law.”
Florida’s Republican Governor DeSantis said it is “not merely ‘ideal’ that major changes in policy receive specific authorization from Congress; it is constitutionally required” in a tweet on April 11 in response to the Fed’s assertion. According to DeSantis, “Unaccountable institutions cannot impose a CBDC on Americans.”
Although they may try to convince us that [a CBDC] won’t be exploited, we are smart enough to know otherwise. This wolf appears in wolf form, he continued.
DeSantis has apparently been opposing CBDCs and is considering a presidential candidacy himself. On March 20, he demanded that CBDCs be outlawed in Florida, expressing worries about how they might be used to monitor and exert control over residents.
Some people, nevertheless, are still not persuaded by these claims.
The fears about privacy raised by JFK Jr. and DeSantis, according to former US Treasury official and current head economist Aaron Klein, are unfounded, he claimed in an interview with NBC News on April 7.
Klein said that a CBDC wouldn’t further invade people’s privacy because financial companies are already compelled to submit transaction data in accordance with current anti-money laundering and anti-terrorism funding regulations. He claimed that DeSantis was mistaken in believing that a central bank digital currency would require more reporting than a commercial bank digital currency would.
On April 11, Klein again spoke with AFP Fact Check and reiterated that FedNow’s sole goal is to expedite the existing Fed payment rails. Klein stated that using a CBDC or a Visa card has “no difference in privacy or surveillance,” and that FedNow and CBDCs “have nothing to do with one another.”