by Jim Rickards, Daily Reckoning:
With so much news about an economic reopening, a border crisis, massive government spending and exploding deficits, it’s easy to overlook the ongoing war on cash.
That’s a mistake because it has serious implications not only for your money, but for your privacy and personal freedom, as you’ll see today.
Cash prevents central banks from imposing negative interest rates because if they did, people would withdraw their cash from the banking system.
TRUTH LIVES on at https://sgtreport.tv/
If they stuff their cash in a mattress, they don’t earn anything on it; that’s true. But at least they’re not losing anything on it.
Once all money is digital, you won’t have the option of withdrawing your cash and avoiding negative rates. You will be trapped in a digital pen with no way out.
What about moving your money into cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin?
Governments Won’t Surrender Their Monopoly Over Money
Let’s first understand that governments enjoy a monopoly on money creation, and they’re not about to surrender that monopoly to digital currencies like Bitcoin.
Libertarian supporters of cryptos celebrate their decentralized nature and lack of government control. Yet, their belief in the sustainability of powerful systems outside government control is naïve.
Blockchain does not exist in the ether (despite the name of one cryptocurrency), and it does not reside on Mars.
Blockchain depends on critical infrastructure, including servers, telecommunications networks, the banking system, and the power grid, all of which are subject to government control.
But governments know they cannot stop the technology platforms on which cryptocurrencies are based. The technology has come too far to turn back now.
So central governments don’t want to kill the distributed ledger technology behind cryptos. They’ve been patiently watching the technology develop and grow — so they could ultimately control it.
Anyone who controls the money controls political power, the economy, and people’s lives.
Enter the central bank digital currency, known as CBDC…
Not Exactly Cryptos
CBCDs use the same underlying distributed ledger technology that cryptocurrencies use. But they’re different from cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, although the differences are often overlooked by the crypto crowd.
Unlike cryptos, CBCDs aren’t new currencies. They’ll still be dollars, euros, yen or yuan, just as they are today. But these currencies will only be digital; there won’t be any paper money or cash allowed. Only the format and payment channels will change.
Balances can be held in digital wallets or digital vaults without the use of traditional banks. A blockchain is not needed; the CBDC ledger can be maintained in encrypted form by the central bank itself without the need for bank accounts or money market funds.
Their greatest appeal is their convenience and lack of credit card transaction fees. Payments can be done with an iPhone or other device with no need for credit cards or costly wire transfers.
Who needs bank accounts, checks, account statements, deposit slips and the other clunky features of a banking relationship when you can go completely digital with the Fed?
An individual Fed account on your mobile phone could also eliminate the 2.5% fees that merchant acquirers charge retailers to process credit card transactions. Payments, in general, would be faster, cheaper, easier and more secure than they are today.
The Federal Reserve has been working with scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to develop a dollar form of CBDC.