A recent survey found that twice as many Americans are against (34%) the Federal Reserve offering a CBDC compared to those who favour centralized cryptocurrencies (16%)
The Cato Institute 2023 CBDC National Survey discovered that only 16% of Americans support the adoption of a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC), while 72% of the respondents are not familiar with the concept at all.
CBDC is a relatively new financial instrument, being actively explored by national banking institutions across the globe. Unlike original crypto, these digital currencies are solely controlled by the main regulator in the country. This direct link between citizens’ digital assets and the government’s central bank has apparently raised concerns among Americans.
To begin with, only 28% of Americans are familiar with CBDCs and underlying technology. Therefore, half of Americans (49%) have not yet formed any opinion about the proposed currency concept. Out of those who did, the majority (34%) are opposing the idea of the Federal Reserve offering a CBDC. The number of CBDC opponents is twice as big as the number of those who favour it (16%).
An overwhelming majority would oppose an e-dollar if it gives the government power to:
- control people’s spending (74%),
- monitor their transactions (68%),
- abolish physical cash (68%),
- impose taxes on those who don’t spend money during recessions (64%),
- freeze digital bank accounts of political protesters (59%).
In addition, 52% of Americans would oppose CBDC if it could cause people to stop using private banks, resulting in bank closures, while 65% are against CBDC if they know it can attract cyberattacks.
The concerns about the potential risks of CBDCs make US authorities remain cautious about CBDC experiments. Earlier this year, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis proposed banning using CBDCs as money. Before that, the Bitcoin think tank also suggested rejecting CBDCs in favour of BTC and stablecoins.
How CBDC acceptance varies across demographic cohorts
Different social groups are reacting to CBDCs in different manners. Thus, men are twice as likely (22%) as women (11%) to support a CBDC.
Differences are also spotted among various ethnic groups. For instance, Black Americans are nearly three times as likely (32%) as white Americans (13%) to support a CBDC. About 20% of Hispanic Americans also support the suggested financial tool.
Younger Americans are over ten times more supportive of a CBDC than seniors. Namely, 32% of respondents under 30 are in favour of CBDC. The level of support falls along with age rise. A quarter (25%) of 30–44-year-olds are for CBDC implementation, compared to 8% of 45-64 year-olds, and only 3% of Americans over 65.
While approximately half of all age groups lack sufficient information to form an adequate opinion about the adoption of a CBDC, around half of Americans over 55 radically oppose it.
Although CBDCs are often advertised as a tool able to enhance financial inclusion and boost the economy, lower-income groups actually favour CBDCs even less than higher-income groups: 19% of those earning under $20,000 a year vs 21% of those earning more than $100,000 a year.