North Carolina Governor Vetoes CBDC Ban Bill Despite Strong Legislative Support

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North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper has vetoed House Bill 690 which bans the state from effecting a U.S. Federal Reserve-issued central bank digital currency (CBDC). The governor declined to assent to the bill, noting in a statement released on July 5, that it was “premature, vague, and reactionary.”

Governor Cooper also vetoed Senate Bill 166 alongside the “No Central Bank Digital Currency Pmts to State.” The governor’s veto is coming at a time when there is growing international interest in CBDCs.

NC Governor Offers Reasons for CBDC Veto

According to Cooper, the state of North Carolina should await the ongoing efforts at the federal level to standardize and ensure safeguards before taking a stance on the bill. He maintained that the action at the federal level was for the overall benefit and protection of consumers, investors and businesses conducting transactions in digital assets.

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“Instead of this bill, the legislature should have passed a budget to provide more funding for cybersecurity threats that actually exist now,” Cooper stated.

Strong Legislative Backing and Potential Override

Stakeholders are stunned by Cooper’s action given that the bill got an overwhelming support from both the state’s House of Representatives and Senate. The House Bill 690 was four votes shy of being unanimous in the House of Reps, as it passed 109-4 in the House and 39-5 in the Senate.

Given this strong support, getting North Carolina legislators to override Cooper’s veto will be an easy move. It only requires obtaining a three-fifths majority in both chambers of congress. However, party leaders may intervene on political sentiments.

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Criticism and Political Implications

Meanwhile, Governor Cooper’s decision to veto has met significant criticism, with some accusing him of making a politically motivated choice. Notably, Mitchell Askew, head analyst at Blockware Solutions and a North Carolina native considers the governor’s decision as not representing the desires of North Carolinians.

As for Dan Spuller, head of industry affairs at the Blockchain Association, the governor missed a great opportunity to oppose a CBDC. He is of the opinion that assenting to the bill would have shown support for privacy, individual sovereignty, and free market competitiveness. Spuller emphasized the need for digital asset policy to remain in the hands of the American people.

Already, European banks are being urged to revise their business models and swiftly adopt central bank digital currencies (CBDCs)

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