Digital Dollar Discussion to Resume in House Committee Hearing on September 14th

The United States House Financial Services Subcommittee on Digital Assets, Financial Technology, and Inclusion has announced a forthcoming hearing that marks a significant return to discussions regarding central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) after a prolonged hiatus.

In a statement issued on September 7th, members of the committee, primarily Republican lawmakers, outlined their intention to convene a hearing focused on exploring the implications of introducing a CBDC, along with considering “private sector alternatives.” Dubbed the “Digital Dollar Dilemma,” this pivotal discussion is scheduled for September 14th, occurring approximately two weeks before Gary Gensler, the Chair of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, is slated to testify before the full committee.

This upcoming hearing represents a noteworthy resurgence in the House committee’s engagement with matters pertaining to the introduction of a digital dollar within the United States. During the month of August, a period largely characterized by Congressional recess, little official attention was given to these critical issues.

The prospect of implementing a CBDC in the United States has evolved into a prominent policy position among several presidential candidates vying for the 2024 election. One notable contender, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who ranks as a leading Republican Party candidate following former U.S. President Donald Trump, announced his intent in July to prohibit CBDCs if elected. Similarly, Vivek Ramaswamy, another Republican candidate, trailing DeSantis, has expressed reservations about CBDCs, drawing parallels between the technology and China’s social credit system.

In response to the CBDC debate, numerous U.S. lawmakers have put forward various legislative proposals aimed at addressing the challenges associated with the potential introduction of a CBDC in the country. Some proposals seek to restrict the Federal Reserve’s authority concerning the issuance of a digital dollar. Additionally, certain U.S. states have taken a proactive stance by passing bills that prohibit CBDCs from being accepted as payment options, with Florida being one of the states to enact such measures.

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