US Congress Members Reintroduce ‘Digital Dollar’ in Automatic Boost to Communities Act

  • In the wake of the devastating effect that COVID-19 has had in the past few months across the U.S, the House of Representatives are set to discuss a digital dollar bill in the coming weeks.
  • Could the said $2000 monthly stimulus package be distributed to Americans directly into their digital wallets?

The U.S government has begun distributing the COVID-19 stimulus checks in a bid to boost the economy. In a new development in the Lower House, Representative Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) is looking to introduce a digital wallet in the new bill titled, ‘Automatic Boost to Communities Act (ABC)” to which the $2000 extended monthly payment will be distributed to. The Act reads:

“No later than January 1, 2021, the Secretary shall offer all recipients of BOOST payments the option to receive their payments in digital dollar wallets.”

The ABC Act was introduced to the Lower House on Thursday with several members supporting the bill including;

  • Jesús García (D-Ill.)
  • Alcee Hastings (D-Fla.)
  • Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY)
  • Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.)
  • Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.)
  • Bobby Rush (D-Ill.)
  • Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.)
  • Nydia Velázquez (D-NY)
  • Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.).

The bill aims to improve access of financial services to Americans connecting the Federal Reserve directly to the citizens. The short term $1200 stimulus is currently underway but some Americans are yet to receive the check as the system faces some challenges with third parties.

The initial stimulus bill included a “digital dollar” payment system to allow seamless disbursement of the funds but was later removed without explanation.

The ABC Act aims to transform the digital payments field during this pandemic and beyond looking into various forms of payments including digital wallets, debit and credit cards, online payment systems and access to mobile payment systems.

Direct Competition to Libra?

The current news comes just hours after the Libra Association announced its plans to develop a multi-currency and single-currency backed stablecoin in its updated whitepaper.

Libra platform aims to offer unbanked and underbanked users a digital wallet account that holds the tokens backed by dollars, euros, pounds, and yen. The development of a digital dollar may prove to cause direct competition to the Facebook-led project.

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Author: Lujan Odera

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