According to comments by Chair of the US Federal Reserve Jerome Powell, Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) will not be anonymous.
Unlike the plethora of cryptocurrencies and physical currencies that offer varying levels of anonymity, there has been little to no doubt that CBDCs regulated by the government would involve more traditional forms of identity verification, allowing for potential intrusive access/usage oversight.
“We would be looking to balance privacy protection with identify verification, which has to be done…in today’s traditional banking system as well.”
The promise of “privacy protection” when the government knows your identity and has the keys to your digital wallet doesn’t sound like the type of “privacy” one would find using cash or other decentralised currencies.
Powell listed four minimum characteristics that would form the basis of CBDCs if a digital currency were to be pursued.
“First is, intermediated, second is privacy protected…third is identity verified, so it would not be anonymous, it would not be an anonymous bearer instrument, and fourth is transferable or interoperable.”
Private corporations now routinely deny individuals and groups access to their digital assets because of wrong-speak. Worse, in Canada, during the Truckers Convoy protest, the Trudeau government worked alongside banking institutions to suspend access to money held in the bank accounts of protesters.
So unsurprisingly, not everyone is ecstatic about ceding even more control over their money to the government in the form of CBDCs to advance the foundational underpinnings of a social credit system by stealth.
“We have not decided to proceed, and we don’t see ourselves as making that decision for some time”
Although Powell was vague on any timeframes, the increased chatter around CBDCs in the US and worldwide has not gone unnoticed.
The comments come a day after the Reserve Bank of Australia released a whitepaper outlining plans for an eAUD digital currency pilot to explore the use of CBDCs in Australia.