American whistleblower Edward Snowden has labelled central digital bank currencies as “perverted” and a “cryptofascist currency”.
According to the former CIA sub-contractor, CBDCs are dangerous because they might give a huge amount of power to governments and restrict the freedom of the people they are meant to serve.
The ex-computer programmer argued that the potential use cases of central bank digital currencies go hand-in-hand with government interests.
A CBDC is a perversion of cryptocurrency, or at least the founding principles and protocols of it—a cryptofascist currency, expressly designed to deny you the basic ownership of your money by installing the State at the center of every transaction. https://t.co/720SYvqzZM
— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) October 9, 2021
In his article, dubbed ‘Your Money and Your Life’, Snowden claimed that it wasn’t true that a CBDC could be the representation of the digital dollar, arguing instead that they were the “newest danger cresting the public horizon”.
“I will tell you what a CBDC is NOT – it is NOT, as Wikipedia might tell you, a digital dollar,” he wrote.
“After all, most dollars are already digital, existing not as something folded in your wallet, but as an entry in a bank’s database, faithfully requested and rendered beneath the glass of your phone.”
He added that rolling out the financial tool would put the government “at the centre of every transaction”, meaning less ownership of money from the general population and, therefore, less freedom.
Snowden asserted that advocates of CBDCs contend that these strictly-centralised currencies are the realisation of a “bold new standard—not a Gold Standard, or a Silver Standard, or even a Blockchain Standard, but something like a Spreadsheet Standard”.
He claimed every central bank-issued dollar was held by a central-bank-managed account, recorded in a vast ledger-of-State that can be continuously scrutinised and eternally revised.
Chinese crypto ban strengthened Bitcoin
He noted that CBDC proponents claim this will make everyday transactions both safer (by removing counterparty risk), and easier to tax (by rendering it almost impossible to hide money from the government).
CBDC opponents, however, cite that very same purported ‘safety’ and ‘ease’ in order to argue that an e-dollar is merely an “extension to, or financial manifestation of, the ever-encroaching surveillance state”.
As an example, Snowden mentioned China, where the total ban on everything that is connected with crypto, together with the release of the digital-yuan, is meant to “increase the ability of the state to impose itself in the middle of every last transaction”.
“Look at China, the napkin-clingers cry, where the new ban on Bitcoin, along with the release of the digital-yuan, is clearly intended to increase the ability of the State to “intermediate” – to impose itself in the middle of – every last transaction,” he argued.
Snowden has been both a critic and an admirer of Bitcoin throughout the years and has interacted with it after exposing numerous classified documents from the National Security Agency, such as proof of mass government surveillance, espionage, computer hacking, and phone tapping.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by the author should not be considered as financial advice. We do not give advice on financial products.