GOP Rep calls out Federal Reserve for quietly working to develop this authoritarian technology

What happened in 1971? It’s a question that’s been posed by a popular website, numerous thought leaders, and countless economists, so, if you don’t know the answer—you should.

Because 1971 is the year the US fully departed from the gold standard, and financially, everything has been downhill since then. Given the Federal Reserve’s abysmal record at running a national currency untethered from any solid value behind it, many have attempted to opt out of a system that seems destined for further inflation and devaluation of the dollar. Digital currencies like Bitcoin have become a refuge for those looking to house and grow their investments in a safer environment, free from the government or the Fed’s manipulation.

But the question now is, for how long?

For several years, politicians, global world leaders, and others have floated the idea of a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC)—aka a government-issued and controlled “digital dollar”—because the government can’t very well have a monetary system it isn’t co-opting, now can it? And, despite tremendous pushback, it seems the Federal Reserve is beginning to work toward developing this authoritarian technology.

A new ad for the Fed in San Francisco says the department is seeking “a technologist to perform central bank digital currency (CBDC) research and development.” It goes onto say that, “Given the dollar’s significant role, the FRS seeks to further understand the cost and benefits of the potential technologies for CBDC and this emerging field” and that the role would be “an outstanding opportunity to be part of a team on the leading edge of technology research into central bank digital currency.”

The existence of this kind of role at the Fed is news to many. Congressman Warren Davidson of Ohio told BASEDPolitics, “The current plan seems to be to allow the Fed to build the Death Star as long as they promise not to turn it on. Congress must act to ban any effort to design, build, develop, test, or establish a CBDC.”

Thankfully, there is already such a bill in existence. Earlier this year, Senator Mike Lee introduced the “No Central Bank Digital Currency Act,” which would prevent the Federal Reserve and Treasury Department from directly offering a CBDC to citizens.

As Brad Polumbo pointed out at BASEDPolitics earlier this year, a CBDC would enable mass levels of government surveillance and control the likes of which we’ve thankfully never seen. Imagine a government being able to freeze your currency because you “spread disinformation” or limit how much you can buy of socially disfavored products—like gasoline to fight climate change. 

Such threats are far greater than the positives such a currency could bring (like lowering administrative costs and saving trees). And in fact, as we covered earlier this year, leaders at the World Economic Forum have even admitted as much. At an event earlier this year, economist Eswar Prasad said, “If you think about the benefits of digital money, there are huge potential gains…It’s not just about digital forms of digital currency; you can have programmability — units of central bank currency with expiry dates.”

So, the government would be able to program your money so it expires if you fail to use it by a certain date or so that it can only be used to purchase “approved” items. What could possibly go wrong? 

As Warren Davidson warns, Congress must step in and prohibit this from taking place.  Americans must have a way to opt out and continue pursuing the American Dream, and that means keeping the Fed’s grubby fingers as far away from our dollars as possible.

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Hannah Cox
Hannah Cox
Hannah Cox is a libertarian-conservative writer and co-founder of BASEDPolitics. She's also the host of the BASEDPolitics podcast and an experienced political activist.