DIGITAL MONEY: A joint project between the Central Bank of Canada and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology will be researching the possibility of an entirely digital Canadian dollar, it was announced yesterday.
The digital dollar would be a state-issued cryptocurrency, or “central bank digital currency” (CBDC).
It’s not just Canada – countries from all around the world appear to be accelerating the research and implementation of CBDCs as we enter the second quarter of 2022.
In our New Years post, OffG hypothesized that the introduction of central bank digital currencies would be a major news thread of 2022, and that prediction looks to be coming true before winter has even turned into spring.
CBDC pilot schemes were already active in the Bahamas and Nigeria before the end of 2021, and Jamaica is rolling out their own later this year after a pilot scheme last year.
Dozens of others are not far behind, including the US, UK and the entire Eurozone. Sweden’s “e-Krona” is currently in the testing phase. Joe Biden has called research into CBDCs a matter of “highest urgency”.
Ukraine is right at the forefront of CBDC research and has been prepping for such since 2016. There were plans to implement one later this year, though it’s possible the war has changed them.
The Russian central bank was developing a “digital ruble” before the invasion of Ukraine, and it is now being suggested as a way to circumvent Western sanctions.
China was already leading the race to total digitalization of their currency, and have used the “vulnerability to Western sanctions” as an excuse to push ahead even harder.
India, South Africa, Malaysia…the list goes on and on.
In short, pretty much the whole world has been at least considering the move to entirely digital money.
Why should this concern you?
Well, because a digital currency would mean every single transaction you make can be monitored and recorded by the state, as well as your bank.
The implications for the right to privacy are obvious, but privacy is the least of it.
Much of the research being done on CBDCs concerns making them programmable.
Meaning either the state issuing the money, or the company paying it as wages, could put controls on how or where it is spent.
To quote a Telegraph article from last Autumn:
Digital cash could be programmed to ensure it is only spent on essentials, or goods which an employer or Government deems to be sensible.