Study Shows Most Americans Not in Support of CBDC

Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDC) have become quite popular with governments around the world. Countries like China have already advanced in the development of their own CBDCs, while the US is still considering it. A survey shows however that most Americans are hesitant about a CBDC.

The study conducted by the the Cato Institute, a public policy research organization, and Yougov, a public opinion and data firm, between February 27 to March 8, 2023, was aimed at finding out Americans’ perception of a CBDC.

A total of 2,126 individuals were interviewed about their perception of the different aspects of a CBDC, including financial inclusiveness, fighting money laundering etc. Just 13% of the people expressed full support for a CBDC that gives the government full control to monitor all purchases.

On the other hand, 68% absolutely rejected the idea while about 20% remained uncertain and expressed no clear preference either way. On whether they would support a CBDC that allows the government to control their spending, only 10% fully backed the idea, while 74% rejected it out rightly. About 16% were unsure.

On the control of money laundering, 42% declared total approval for such CBDC while about 28% rejected the idea. Out of this number, 31% were indifferent about whether they would support the idea or not.

The last question was if they would endorse a CBDC that ensures welfare recipients use funds as intended.To this, exactly 40% strongly supported it while approximately 31% firmly disapproved and 28% were undecided.

The concerns around a CBDC

The US started discussing what seemed to be a regulatory framework for crypto late last year. The Biden administration also directed that an assessment of a CBDC be conducted. Since then, there have been criticism of the idea, especially among crypto enthusiast who believe in the freedom of money.

The major concern has been that a CBDC gives the government too much power over its citizens, since it can potentially be used to monitor all financial transactions on an individual level. This poll shows that the respondents share the same concerns.

In all, 34% of those interviewed were against the idea of a CBDC while only 16% supported it. Asked about their concerns concerning the launch of a CBDC, 66% of respondents expressed worries about government control over their finances, while monitoring was the second most common concern.

The most welcome aspect of a CBDC according to the survey is in combatting of money laundering, while the second most appealing aspect is financial inclusion and the welfare of citizens.

Political Opinions on CBDC

Prior to this poll, Democrats have supported the idea of a CBDC while the Republicans are strongly against the idea. In this poll, the Republican respondents show the strong opposition against the idea, while Democrats and Libertarians took no sides.

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