North Carolina’s House of Representatives unanimously voted in favor of a bill banning the acceptance of Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) by government entities.
The legislation follows a wave of vocal opposition to CBDCs from the Republican party, alongside some critics from the Democrat side.
North Carolina Rejects CBDCs
The vote on May 3 saw 118 House members agreeing to pass House Bill 690, while just two members abstained from the vote, and none voted against it.
Alongside the acceptance ban, the bill would also prohibit the state from participating in Federal Reserve branch testing of a potential CBDC.
The bill was initially proposed to the House in April titled “AN ACT TO PROHIBIT PAYMENTS IN CRYPTOCURRENCY TO THE STATE,” but was modified on May 2 to substitute the word “cryptocurrency” with “central bank digital currency.” The latter is defined as “a digital currency, a digital medium of exchange, or a digital monetary unit of account issued by the US Federal Reserve System or a federal agency that is made directly available to a consumer by such entities.”
After three readings in the House and a successful pass, the legislation now must pass through the Senate, and then through Governor Roy Cooper before it can be signed into law.
North Carolina isn’t the first to oppose CBDCs: Florida governor Ron DeSantis called on the state legislature to ban CBDC use as money within Florida’s uniform commercial code last March. At the time, he blasted CBDCs for providing the government “with a direct view over all consumer activities,” which could be used to “cut off access to goods and services” like China’s digital yuan.
Republican congress members including Tom Emmer and Ted Cruz have also tried introducing federal legislation banning the implementation of CBDCs by the central bank, blasting them as an invasion of privacy. Former and current Democratic presidential candidates – Tulsi Gabbard and Robert Kennedy Jr respectively – have made claims to a similar effect within the past month.
Banning Bitcoin Mining
North Carolina’s Buncombe County Board of Commissioners also approved a one-year moratorium on Bitcoin mining Tuesday, over concerns about noise and pollution such facilities create.
Democrat politicians have frequently opposed Bitcoin mining for its contribution to greenhouse gas emissions. The Biden White House published a blog post this week calling on Congress to pass a 30% tax on the Bitcoin mining industry to make it pay for its ‘societal harms’.