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Majority of Americans Hesitant to Embrace Central Bank Digital Currency, Survey Finds

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Majority of Americans Hesitant to Embrace Central Bank Digital Currency, Survey Finds

A recent poll conducted by the Cato Institute and public opinion firm Yougov reveals that the majority of Americans are hesitant to adopt a central bank digital currency (CBDC). The findings indicate that support for a CBDC remains relatively low among survey respondents.

U.S. CBDC Support Remains Low: Survey Highlights American Hesitation

In late May 2023, the Cato Institute, a public policy research organization, and Yougov, a public opinion and data firm, unveiled a survey examining American attitudes toward the potential introduction of a CBDC. From February 27 to March 8, 2023, they polled 2,126 individuals, inquiring about their stance on a CBDC under various circumstances.

For example, one question asked participants whether they would endorse or oppose a government-issued CBDC if it allowed the government to monitor all purchases. Just 13% expressed full support for this type of CBDC, while 68% were thoroughly opposed. Approximately 20% remained uncertain and expressed no clear preference either way.

Majority of Americans Hesitant to Embrace Central Bank Digital Currency, Survey Finds

Another query posed to respondents was whether they would favor or reject a CBDC that allowed the government to control their spending. In this scenario, only 10% fully backed the idea, whereas 74% were adamantly against it. Roughly 16% professed they were unsure and could not firmly commit to either side. When asked about their support for a CBDC designed to combat money laundering and fraud, 42% declared total approval.

Of those surveyed on this topic, about 28% entirely rejected such a fraud-reducing CBDC while roughly 31% could not definitively say if they would support it. Furthermore, when questioned about endorsing a CBDC that ensures welfare recipients use funds as intended, there was an even split: exactly 40% strongly supported it while approximately 31% firmly disapproved and 28% were undecided.

Cato’s Polled Respondents Mostly Concerned a CBDC Will Give the Government Total Control Over Spending

In general, as far as a CBDC with no set criteria, 34% of Americans oppose the U.S. central bank launching a CBDC and 16% favor the idea. Interestingly, nearly half of those surveyed (49%) did not have a clear opinion on the matter, which may be due to a lack of familiarity with the concept; in fact, 72% of respondents admitted to being unfamiliar with CBDCs. When asked about their concerns regarding a potential CBDC, 66% of respondents cited worries about government control over their finances, while monitoring was the second most common concern.

Majority of Americans Hesitant to Embrace Central Bank Digital Currency, Survey Finds

Looking ahead, only 22% of those polled believe that an American CBDC is likely to launch, while the majority (78%) do not anticipate such a development. When it comes to political affiliations, around 15% of the surveyed group identified as Libertarians. Interestingly, most Democrats and Independents did not express a clear opinion on the matter. On the other hand, a majority of Republicans were firmly opposed to the creation of a CBDC.

According to the survey, the most attractive aspect of a CBDC was its purported ability to combat money laundering and financial crime. The second most appealing feature was a CBDC that bolstered the welfare system. However, a striking 76% of respondents expressed greater concern about the potential risks associated with a CBDC than its potential benefits.

What are your thoughts on the potential risks and benefits of a central bank digital currency? Share your thoughts and opinions about this subject in the comments section below.

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