A handful of Congressional Democrats are putting forth legislation to create a new digital currency that would have equal standing with the US dollar.
In a new press release, Rep. Stephen Lynch of Massachusetts introduced the Electronic Currency and Secure Hardware (ECASH) Act for debate.
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Lynch cites the need for America to stay competitive with the nearly 100 other countries worldwide considering launching their own central bank digital currency (CBDC).
“By establishing a pilot program within Treasury for the development of an electronic US dollar, the ECASH Act will greatly complement and advance ongoing efforts undertaken by the Federal Reserve and President Biden to examine potential design and deployment options for a digital dollar.
Importantly, this pilot program will also preserve a role in our financial system for smaller anonymous cash-like transactions which are currently transacted in physical dollars and which have seen a rapid decline in use.”
Rep. Lynch was joined by Congressional co-sponsors Jesús G. García (D-IL-04), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) and Alma Adams (D-NC). All four serve on the Committee on Financial Services.
According to a report by The Register, Willamette University assistant professor of law Rohan Grey says that since the Federal Reserve would not issue ECASH, it technically wouldn’t qualify as a CBDC.
Because ECASH also would not be part of a blockchain or distributed ledger, Grey says,
“It would be purely peer-to-peer, capable of offline transactions, and able to be held and used completely anonymously, like physical cash is today.”
Rep. Lynch posted an official fact sheet laying out the two-phase pilot program’s objectives, including the three main criteria the electronic dollar must meet: legal tender, financial inclusion, and privacy.
The full text of the H.R. 7231 bill can be read here.
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