Florida Governor Signs Law Banning Central Bank Digital Currencies in the State

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has signed legislation banning the use of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) in the state.[0] The law is designed to protect Floridians from the potential arrival of a Federal Reserve-issued digital currency this summer.[1] The bill defines a CBDC as a digital currency, a digital medium of exchange, or a digital monetary unit of account issued by the Federal Reserve System, a federal agency, a foreign government, a foreign central bank or a foreign reserve system that is made directly available to a consumer and processed or validated directly by such entities.[2]

The law will go into effect on July 1 and also includes provisions for social media safety instruction in health classes from 6th to 12th grade, banning TikTok from being accessed on school networks, requiring districts to insert guardrails on school computers, and prohibiting the use of wireless communication devices during instructional time, except when used solely for educational purposes as directed by the student’s teacher.

Additionally, DeSantis signed a measure that will prevent credit-card companies from using a separate “merchant category code” for sales at gun businesses in Florida.[3] The law also seeks to prohibit governments, citizens and businesses from foreign countries of concern from acquiring agricultural land in the state and restricts state colleges and universities from entering into agreements with their counterparts in foreign countries of concern.[4] Other countries labeled “countries of concern” by Florida include Russia, Iran, North Korea, Cuba, Venezuela, and Syria.[5]

DeSantis has previously stated that a government-controlled digital currency was “about surveillance and control.” He argued that a federally sanctioned CBDC would diminish the role of community banks and credit unions in the U.S. financial system as CBDC currency would be a direct liability of the federal government, rather than of a chartered financial institution, shrinking market lending power.[6]

It is unclear if Florida has the authority to ban a CBDC, as Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution hands the power “to coin money, regulate the value thereof, and of foreign coin, and fix the standard of weights and measures,” to the U.S. Congress.[7] The matter of regulating digital currencies at the state level is a novel issue that has yet to be resolved in the judicial system.[7] Florida’s Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) now forbids the use of a CBDC adopted by the federal government as a form of currency. Additionally, it provides safeguards against foreign reserve or sanctioned central banks from introducing a central global currency in the state. The law urges other states to implement comparable legislation.[8]

0. “DeSantis bans CBDC in Florida. Central bank digital currency explained” Pensacola News Journal, 12 May. 2023, https://www.pnj.com/story/news/politics/2023/05/12/desantis-bans-cbdc-in-florida-central-bank-digital-currency-explained/70211613007/

1. “Florida Governor Officially Bans CBDCs in the State” Watcher Guru, 12 May. 2023, https://watcher.guru/news/florida-governor-officially-bans-cbdcs-in-the-state

2. “DeSantis signs bill banning use of central bank currencies” The Center Square, 12 May. 2023, https://www.thecentersquare.com/florida/article_b9834cb8-f0ec-11ed-b73d-0392081ed139.html

3. “‘We’re on offense’: Gov. DeSantis signs digital currency, gun sale tracking bills” WJXT News4JAX , 12 May. 2023, https://www.news4jax.com/news/politics/2023/05/12/gov-desantis-signs-digital-currency-bill-at-news-conference-in-fort-myers

4. “DeSantis signs TikTok ban, 2 other bills targeting China” Orlando Sentinel, 8 May. 2023, https://www.orlandosentinel.com/2023/05/08/desantis-signs-tiktok-ban-other-china-bills

5. “DeSantis signs bills limiting Chinese land ownership, TikTok at schools” Tampa Bay Times, 8 May. 2023, https://www.tampabay.com/news/florida-politics/2023/05/08/florida-desantis-china-land-communist-university/

6. “Governor Ron DeSantis Signs First-in-the-Nation Legislation to Protect Against Government Surveillance of Personal …” Governor Ron DeSantis, 12 May. 2023, https://www.flgov.com/2023/05/12/governor-ron-desantis-signs-first-in-the-nation-legislation-to-protect-against-government-surveillance-of-personal-finances/

7. “Blockchain blocked: Gov. DeSantis signs bill to ban central bank digital currencies” Florida Politics, 12 May. 2023, https://floridapolitics.com/archives/611751-blockchain-blocked-gov-desantis-signs-bill-to-ban-central-bank-digital-currencies/

8. “Florida Governor Amplifies Disdain for US Digital Dollar CBDC” BeInCrypto, 8 May. 2023, https://beincrypto.com/ron-desantis-digital-dollar-cbdc-not-work-florida

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