Florida and Indiana Pass Laws Banning the Use of a CBDC as Money in the State

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by Michael Maharrey, Schiff Gold:

Laws recently enacted in Florida and Indiana ban the use of a central bank digital currency (CBDC) as money in those states.

These laws explicitly exclude a CBDC from the definition of money in Florida and Indiana, effectively banning its use as such in these states.

FLORIDA

In Florida, Rep. Wyman Duggan filed Senate Bill 7054 (S7054)  after Gov. Ron DeSantis called for legislation banning CBDC in the Sunshine State.

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“Today’s announcement will protect Florida consumers and businesses from the reckless adoption of a ‘centralized digital dollar’ which will stifle innovation and promote government-sanctioned surveillance. Florida will not side with economic central planners; we will not adopt policies that threaten personal economic freedom and security,” DeSantis said in an official statement calling for the ban.

The law defines central bank digital currency as a “digital medium of exchange, or digital monetary unit of account issued by the United States Federal Reserve System, a federal agency, a foreign government, a foreign central bank, or a foreign reserve system that is made directly available to a consumer by such entities” and that is “processed or validated directly by such entities.”

Under the Florida Uniform Commercial Code (UCC), “money” means a medium of exchange that is currently authorized or adopted by a domestic or foreign government. The term includes a monetary unit of account established by an intergovernmental organization or by agreement between two or more countries.”

S7054 adds “the term does not include a central bank digital currency” to that definition.

The UCC is a set of uniformly adopted state laws governing commercial transactions in the U.S. According to the Uniform Law Commission, “Because the UCC has been universally adopted, businesses can enter into contracts with confidence that the terms will be enforced in the same way by the courts of every American jurisdiction. The resulting certainty of business relationships allows businesses to grow and the American economy to thrive. For this reason, the UCC has been called ‘the backbone of American commerce.’”

With the enactment of S7054, the UCC is no longer uniform.

The House passed S7054 by a vote of 116-1. The bill passed the Senate by a 34-5 vote. With Gov.DeSantis’s signature, the law will go into effect on July 1.

INDIANA

The provisions in the new Indiana law signed by Gov. Eric Holcomb are almost identical, but the bill took a very different path to enactment.

Sen. Chris Garten and a bipartisan coalition of 11 cosponsors introduced Senate Bill 468 (SB468) in January. The law makes a number of changes to Indiana’s Uniform Commercial Code (UCC).

As originally introduced, the revised definition of money in SB468 would have paved the way for the use of CBDCs in Indiana.

“The term [money] does not include an electronic record that is a medium of exchange recorded and transferable in a system that existed and operated for the medium of exchange before the medium of exchange was authorized or adopted by the government.”

This proposed definition would have also banned free-market-based cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, from being considered money under state law.

Thanks to strong grassroots opposition, the language was amended during the legislative process. The amended definition of money in the final version of SB468 explicitly excludes CBDCs from the definition of money.

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