Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) are coming even faster than many anticipated.
The digital yuan is already here. It was introduced in China last February during the Winter Olympics. Visitors to the Olympics were required to pay for meals, hotels, transportation, etc., using QR codes on their mobile phones that linked to digital yuan accounts.
Nine other countries have already launched CBDCs. Europe is not far behind and is testing the digital euro under the auspices of the European Central Bank.
The US was lagging, but is catching up fast, according to this article.
The Federal Reserve was studying a possible Fed CBDC at a research facility at MIT. Now the idea has moved from the research stage to preliminary development. Fed Chair Jay Powell said, ‘A US CBDC could…potentially help maintain the dollar’s international standing.’
It’s important to understand that a CBDC is not a new currency, it’s just a new payment channel.
A digital dollar is still a dollar.
A digital euro is still a euro.
It’s just that the currency never exists in physical form. It is always digital, and ownership is recorded on a ledger maintained by the central bank.
You will have an account showing how many digital dollars you own. They are transferred by an app on a smartphone or a desktop computer.
In many ways, dollar transactions are already digital.
Most people receive money by wire transfer, go shopping with credit cards, and pay bills online. All of those transactions are digital and encrypted.
The difference with CBDCs is that you don’t need banks, credit card companies, or even PayPal. Everything can be done through the Fed with a single account for payment and receipt.
CBDCs could disintermediate the entire banking and credit card sectors to a great extent.
The other big difference is that it will give the government control of your money and the ability to put you under constant surveillance.
In a world of CBDCs, the government will know every purchase you make, every transaction you conduct, and even your physical whereabouts at the point of purchase.
It’s a short step from there to negative interest rates, account freezes, tax withholding from your account, and even putting you under FBI investigation if you vote for the wrong candidate or give donations to the wrong political party.
If that sounds like a stretch, it’s not.
China is already using its CBDC to deny travel and educational opportunities to political dissidents.
Canada seized the bank accounts and crypto accounts of non-violent trucker protestors last winter.
These kinds of ‘social credit scores’ and political suppression will be even easier to conduct when CBDCs are completely rolled out.
You might not be able to fight back easily in the world of CBDCs, but there is one non-digital, non-hackable, non-traceable form of money you can still use.
You will learn what this is, plus an entire presentation my team has created on the potential threats of the dawn of CBDCs as they take hold across the globe, including in Australia. In fact, as you’ll learn, Australia was where a lot of the initial testing of CBDCs took place, long before the pandemic.
It’s fascinating. Worrying. And you need to understand what’s coming.
Strategist, The Daily Reckoning Australia