CBDC ban advocate Ron DeSantis ends US presidential race

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Central bank digital currency (CBDC) opponent Ron DeSantis has withdrawn from the race for the White House, according to an announcement on Jan. 21, stating he couldn’t continue with a campaign lacking a clear path to victory. 

“I can’t ask our supporters to volunteer their time and donate their resources. We don’t have a clear path to victory. Accordingly, I am today suspending my campaign.”

DeSantis shared the news in a 4-minute announcement on X (formerly Twitter), confirming his already anticipated support for former United States President Donald Trump. “I will not stop now. It’s clear to me that a majority of Republican primary voters want to give Donald Trump another chance.”

In the Iowa primary for the Republican Party nomination held on Jan. 15, DeSantis finished second, lagging Trump by a 21% margin of votes. DeSantis, who is also governor of Florida, officially launched his presidential bid in July 2023.

During one of his first campaign appearances, DeSantis vowed to ban a possible version of the digital dollar if elected. “If I am the president, on day one, we will nix central bank digital currency. Done. Dead. Not happening in this country,” he said at the event in Iowa.

Trump has taken the same position. During a recent campaign speech in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, he promised to “never allow” the Federal Reserve to create a CBDC. “I will never allow the creation of a central bank digital currency,” he stated.

A CBDC is a digital form of a country’s fiat currency. Unlike cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, which are decentralized and not controlled by any authority, CBDCs are centralized and backed by a nation’s central bank.

CBDCs can potentially improve payment efficiency and expand financial inclusion. However, critics argue they could infringe on privacy and grant governments excessive control over citizens.

According to Cointelegraph’s CBDC database, at least 100 countries are currently researching the technology, with nearly 40 countries working on pilots or proofs-of-concept.

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