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North Carolina House passes bill banning CBDC payments to the state

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The House of Representatives for North Carolina has unanimously passed legislation aimed at prohibiting payments to the U.S. state using a central bank digital currency, or CBDC.

In a May 3 vote, 118 members of the state’s legislative body agreed to pass House Bill 690, with only two representatives absent and none voting against the bill. The latest version of the legislation aimed to prohibit individuals from using CBDCs for any payments to the state, as well as bar the Federal Reserve from using North Carolina as a potential testing ground for its own CBDC pilot.

North Carolina lawmakers introduced the bill to the House in April, where it stayed in committee before readings and a full vote. The legislation proposed amending statutes to require “no State agency nor the General Court of Justice” accept payments using CBDCs or participate in Fed testing of a digital dollar.

The legislative push against CBDCs seems to be becoming more politically relevant ahead of the 2024 elections in the United States. In March, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis — expected by many to throw his hat into the ring for the U.S. presidential race — called for a CBDC ban in the country, claiming the technology was all about “surveilling Americans and controlling behavior of Americans.”

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Related: CBDCs could be ‘easily weaponized’ to spy on US citizens: Congressman

At the federal level, Representative Tom Emmer and Senator Ted Cruz have both introduced separate bills aimed at restricting the Fed’s authority over CBDCs or proposing an outright ban. Robert F. Kennedy Jr., another U.S. presidential hopeful, has claimed that CBDCs could “grease the slippery slope to financial slavery and political tyranny.”

The North Carolina bill will move to the Senate, where it must pass before being signed into law or vetoed by Governor Roy Cooper. The Board of Commissioners for North Carolina’s Buncombe County also approved a one-year moratorium on crypto mining on May 2.

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