US lawmakers propose ECASH bill

A group of lawmakers introduced a bill for the Electronic Currency and Secure Hardware Act (ECASH) to create an electronic version of the US dollar

Lawmakers Stephen Lynch,  Jesus Chuy Garcia,  Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib introduced a bill called the Electronic Currency and Secure Hardware Act (ECASH Act) that seeks to instruct the Secretary of the Treasury to “develop and issue an electronic version of the US dollar, with a view to preserving privacy and anonymity in transactions.”

According to what was expressed by the legislative representatives, the electronic dollar is conceived as “a bearer instrument that people could have on their phone or on a card, very similar to the bill or menda of the North American country.

The proposal indicates that the electronic dollar would be a system based on tokens and not on accounts, therefore, if users lose their mobile phone or card they would lose their funds, that is, it would be like losing the wallet with the paper money dollars.

The bill establishes that the new electronic dollar will be considered “legal tender and would be functionally identical to a physical greenback.” In addition, legislators affirm that the most suitable government entity for the creation of this financial instrument is the US Department of the Treasury and not the Federal Reserve.

Electronic dollar different from the digital one

In order to know the differences between the proposal for the development of an electronic dollar with respect to the digital dollar that would be developed by the Department of the Treasury, some media consulted the opinion of Rohan Gray, a professor at Willamette University, who pointed out: “the bill is intended to create a true digital analog of the US dollar.”

 “We propose to have a genuine cash-like bearer instrument, a token-based system that has no centralized ledger and no distributed ledger because the dollar has no ledger. It would use secure software and hardware and will be issued by the Treasury,” he explained.

The main difference with other proposals on the digital dollar is that it will be based on “stable currencies or other decentralized accounting tools” and not on blockchain technology.

The university professor considers that this type of system could be of great interest to those people who do not have access to the traditional financial system because they do not meet the requirements such as: maintaining a minimum balance in bank accounts and for people who do not trust banks because they charge fees and freeze funds.

M. Rodríguez


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