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An Overwhelming Majority — Nearly 69% — Reject CBDCs — Here is Why

For Your Safety and Our Curiosity Street Art

I conduct market analysis and provide insights on economics, investing, bitcoin, real estate, and personal finance. Here I dive into CBDCs, or Central Bank Digital Currencies:

105 Countries are currently exploring or developing Central Bank Digital Currencies or CBDCs. This includes 19 of the 20 G20 countries, or countries representing 95% of the world’s GDP.

China, ruled by a Communist totalitarian government with a terrible human rights record, is at the forefront. According the People’s Bank of China, or PBOC, the digital yuan, or e-CNY, has seen over $100 billion in transaction volume so far.

The United States is also actively exploring the digital asset space, including a federal Central Bank Digital Currency or CBDC.

A US CBDC

Capitol Hill

While some work was being doing on this by the Fed and the Treasury Department, US exploration of a CBDC officially began on March 9, 2022 when President Biden issued the “Executive Order on Ensuring Responsible Development of Digital Assets”. Link

Here is a relevant excerpt:

“(a) The policy of my Administration on a United States CBDC is as follows:

“(i) Sovereign money is at the core of a well-functioning financial system, macroeconomic stabilization policies, and economic growth. My Administration places the highest urgency on research and development efforts into the potential design and deployment options of a United States CBDC. These efforts should include assessments of possible benefits and risks for consumers, investors, and businesses; financial stability and systemic risk; payment systems; national security; the ability to exercise human rights; financial inclusion and equity; and the actions required to launch a United States CBDC if doing so is deemed to be in the national interest.”

This Executive Order directed a regulatory framework be created within 120 days. This regulatory framework was issued by the White House on September 16, 2022, and is summarized with an official fact sheet here.

This document further encouraged the development of a U.S. CBDC. Here are some relevant excerpts:

“A U.S. CBDC — a digital form of the U.S. dollar — has the potential to offer significant benefits.”

“A potential U.S. CBDC could also help preserve U.S. global financial leadership, and support the effectiveness of sanctions.”

Public Response

Punks Against Riot Police

I conducted recent polling on Twitter and found that an overwhelming majority are against Central Bank Digital Currencies or CBDCs.

Out of 148 respondents, only 34 were in favor of CBDCs.

13 were undecided or unsure what that meant, while 101 were against it.

Why To Be Against a CBDC

Woman on a megaphone

1. Surveillance

Using a CBDC, 100% of transactions by 100% of citizens can be tracked. Essentially, the 100% death of privacy. Privacy is used by criminals, but so are highways. There are solutions to prevent crime other than eliminating privacy or banning people from using highways.

2. Control

Using accounts for CBDCs, governments or central banks can shut down individuals accounts at will.

If one is in trouble, to what extent can the government suspend one’s funds or freeze or close one’s account? This could be used in tandem with control of movement.

In 2019 in China, Fortune reported that 23 million individuals were banned from travelling due to a low social credit score.

This could be affected indirectly through the use a CBDC.

3. Asset Seizure Outside the Rule of Law

In Canada, a constitutional democracy, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau temporarily gave himself dictatorial powers, which included giving banks power to freeze funds without court order. This allowed him to stop millions of dollars from flowing to anti-government protestors.

CBDCs could make this much easier to implement in all current democratic nations.

A History Lesson

Gold Bars

Hard money, such as gold, silver or bitcoin, cannot be altered by government or central bank policy. Gold and silver because it is a precious metal, and bitcoin because it is backed by a decentralized code.

Thus it can be used as a last resort, a sort of energy, or freedom money, against any potentially oppressive regime.

However, the U.S government actually banned it in the past. From 1933 to 1974 it was illegal for U.S. citizens to personally own more than $100 of gold in the form of gold bullion.

Executive Order 6102 — Requiring Gold Coin, Gold Bullion and Gold Certificates to Be Delivered to the Government was issued by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt on April 5, 1933. This law, which was never voted for by Congress or by the people in a referendum, was in effect for over 40 years.

Alternatives

I will continue to support alternatives to Central Bank Digital Currencies or CBDCs. These are already being used in many parts of the world due to war (Ukraine & Russia), inflation (Turkey) and collapse or theft from an insolvent banking system (Lebanon).

At the forefront of these is Bitcoin which is a digital currency that is backed by a decentralized network of computers across the internet. Its monetary inflation policy has been set, and cannot be altered by a government or central bank to solve short-term problems.

Another alternative which is pegged to the dollar and is being used in many parts of the world is US Dollar Tether (USDT), which is is an asset-backed cryptocurrency stablecoin. It is created by a company called iFinex which is established in the British Virgin Islands.

Another stablecoin exists called USDC or US Dollar Coin created by a company called Circle has come under fire because it has cooperated with the US Department of Treasury in blacklisting and freezing assets. Largely because of this, the amount of USDC is existence has been declining over the past 3 months, while the amount of USDT has been increasing.

If one holds Bitcoin in his/her private wallet, it cannot be seized by a central bank or government.

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This content is for educational purposes only. It does not constitute trading advice. Past performance does not indicate future results. Do not invest more than you can afford to lose. The author of this article may hold assets mentioned in the piece.

Author

Alexandre Lores is a personal finance writer from Tampa Bay, Florida, with the goal to help one million people achieve financial freedom. He has spent over five years studying markets and economics, finding Bitcoin in 2017 and never turning back. He frequently appears on TV and in online news articles and is a regular Twitter spaces host.

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