With ongoing talks of the Metaverse and the continued rise of crypto currencies, the concept of money has become a point of interest - especially for the government. Governments around the world have been discussing the implementation of a “CBDC” or a Central Bank Digital Currency. On March 9, 2022, Biden signed an executive order directing the government to start working on a CBDC and to create a framework to regulate private crypto currencies. Although there are many benefits to a CBDC, such as lightning fast transactions and transfers, it creates an opportunity for the government to take complete control of citizens' money and how they spend it.
CBDC, as the term applies, is digital currency that a central government owned bank issues directly. Most assume that they already use a form of digital currency as they pay with their phones, however, on the backend of things, it’s actually a lot more complicated. It involves a number of payment processors, banks, and financial clearinghouses. The money actually doesn’t move as swiftly and in results, the intermediary institutions take on risk to fulfill your transactions. As you know, sending money transfers domestically and internationally come with their own set of fees and delays.
A CBDC would simplify this process instantly. A customer would open an account with its country's central bank, and the bank would issue digital currency into their account. It’s very important that we know in this scenario that the Fed has full liability for the digital currency, not the banks. Customers would then access their funds through a digital wallet off their phones. Transactions would become almost instantaneous and international transactions would be the same, as long as the country’s central banks agree on such matters.
A digital currency system, as mentioned above, means complete control by the government. No more credit card companies and banks will be needed. The government would control the creation, implementation and distribution of the currency. President Biden’s order described “research and development efforts into the potential design and deployment options of a United States CBDC” as a matter of “the highest urgency” for his administration. Cash has been working fine for the past couple thousand years, so why create the urgency to all of a sudden switch to a digital currency? For complete control over our money? To allow companies to have control over what their employees spend their money on? To charge us interest if we don’t spend x amount of money by the end of the month? Unfortunately, all of these scenarios are realistic and are up to the government to implement them.
If a CBDC was implemented, the government could directly take taxes and fees from any account, in real time. Tax evasion would be at an all time low as the government can see every transaction from everyone. Fines for speeding, illegal parking etc. could be collected in real time, if the CBDC was connected to smart surveillance around the country. There would also be no need to mail out stimulus checks, tax refunds, or any other benefits, such as universal basic income. It would all be instantly taken out or delivered into your account.
As we saw in the trucker rally, some of the supporters and participants had their bank accounts frozen. With CBDC, this would make it 10x easier to do so. Customers can easily have their digital currency deleted or accounts frozen with the click of a button. No use of emergency acts or permissions from banks would be needed.
If another lock down were to happen and only the vaccinated were allowed to make purchases at grocery stores and restaurants, the government can easily freeze accounts of the un vaccinated or set up geo locations around the areas where their digital currency can be spent.
If not properly implemented by updated laws, CBDC has the potential to be the greatest totalitarian expansion in history. Never before has a government had complete control over and insight into people’s transactions. Yet the implementation of a CBDC is being smuggled into our lives in the name of justice, for the people and convenience.