Central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) are not getting the fanfare support that many expect. According to a recent survey, only 16% of Americans favor a CBDC launch in the North American nation.
34% Oppose State-backed Currency
A central bank digital currency (CBDC) is a tokenized version of cash. It is built using the same framework as blockchain technology and is usually virtual.
Much like stablecoins offered by private crypto companies, it is duly pegged on a 1:1 ratio to the sovereign nation’s currency.
While stablecoins are used on various occasions in the crypto space due to their permissionless nature, CBDCs have not enjoyed this same attention.
According to a new survey organized by the Cato Institute, 34% of surveyed Americans opposed the idea of a CBDC version of the US greenback.
On the flip side, 16% supported the idea, while 49% said they didn’t have an opinion yet on the subject.
The impasse from the 49% polled participants is because only 28% of Americans are familiar with the concept, while 72% have never heard of CBDC.
— Cato Institute (@CatoInstitute) June 4, 2023
Providing better context on the political leanings of their participants, the Cato Institute noted that about 34% of Republicans are more familiar with what a CBDC means than 25% of Democrats and 25% of apolitical participants.
Meanwhile, 22% of Democrats are open to supporting a CBDC version of the greenback as opposed to 11% of Republicans.
On the other hand, about 53% of surveyed Republicans opposed a CBDC deployment, while 56% of Democrats claim not to have an opinion.
However, when the benefits and risks of a full-scale CBDC operation were put to both parties, neither was eager to use it.
The survey also pointed out that 22% of men were open to supporting a CBDC, while only 11% of women followed the same path.
Meanwhile, 32% of Black Americans are keen on using a tokenized greenback as opposed to 20% of Hispanic Americans and 13% of White Americans.
When asked if they would like using a tokenized greenback if it meant the US government controls what they spend their money on, a whopping 74% opposed the idea.
A further 68% said they would not use CBDCs if the US government also monitored their spending habits, while 65% of respondents said they would outrightly stop using it if CBDCs serve as beacons for cyberattacks.
— Wittgenstein (@backtolife_2023) April 15, 2023
Regarding freedom of expression and association, 59% of respondents said they would not use CBDC if the government could easily freeze the digital bank accounts of political protesters.
On the other hand, 68% said a CBDC is a no-go area for them if it meant the total annihilation of the physical greenback.
Could CBDCs Increase Oppression? The Majority of Americans Think So
Given that CBDCs would principally be offered by the US government via the Federal Reserve, this would place a lot of power within a centralized entity.
The majority of Americans are generally wary of a tokenized national currency due to its implications on their finances. This is because blockchain technology and crypto are all about decentralizing power.
According to the series of polls, about 71% of Democrats and 82% of Republicans said they would oppose the issuance of a CBDC if the government controlled what they spent their money on and when.
Also, 61% of Democrats and 82% of Republicans would not support the greenback CBDC if the government could easily monitor what the digital currency is used for.
When asked about their chief concerns with the initiative, 62% of Democrats pointed to cyberattacks and the potential for the abolition of physical cash.
Roughly 82% of Republicans expressed concerns about government control and monitoring of what they spend the virtual currency on.
The CBDC debate is still ongoing as more world governments embrace a more digital economy.
Countries like Australia and Brazil have already launched CBDC pilot programs.
According to a blog post from the central bank of Brazil, Banco de Brazil Visa and Microsoft have recently joined its CBDC pilot test.
However, many world citizens are kicking back against this trend. Most notable is Florida’s governor Ron DeSantis who has publicly banned the use of CBDCs in the Sunshine State.
He has also stated unequivocally that he does not support a tokenized version of the greenback and is throwing his weight behind crypto as a more sustainable payment system.
So it’s not just a conspiracy theory.
I have been warning what’s coming and coming fast.
De bank yourself urgently or you will be forced onto a CBDC, a track and trace and total control “ shit coin” produced by shit dodgy people.
They are going to take all your money in the… pic.twitter.com/y1LMQS66zI
— jamiemcintyre (@jamiemcintyre21) June 5, 2023
Additionally, many CBDC opposers have urged people to debank themselves to avoid being forced into the system.
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