Picture courtesy of pixabay.com
It is remarkable how easily people can be fooled. With so much outrage against the tech companies over censorship the masses are still more than willing to put their trust in them when it comes to their bank accounts. Bitcoin is viewed as some type of Godsend and a “fuck you” to the government, federal reserve, and big banks. The fact that no one knows who created it and where the source is would typically throw up red flags. But never that. Bitcoin and cryptocurrency in general, is here to save us all from tyranny and the monstrous snake that is known as Silicon Valley. Yeah, right.
Here is something interesting to note. Cryptocurrency is a digital entity. Which means its domain is in the digital realm which is a world controlled by…guess who…Silicon Valley, the very organizations that the cheerleaders of crypto wish to take down. It would be bizarre to think that being fully dependent on a digital platform for your money would be a way of fighting the system. Just because something is separate from a bank does not automatically make it autonomous especially if it has anything to do with tech.
Another reason for the naïve belief in crypto freedom is the fact that at times politicians “appear” to be crying out against it and the need to shut it down. “Appear” is key here. A snobby politician may be against it in speech, but their actions may prove different. Moreover, even if said politician is genuine with their criticism does not mean that the crypto is a freedom friend of the people. Donald Trump is a good example of this. When the media and Republicans and Democrats swarmed after him like a colony of agitated bees many took that as a sign that Donald Trump was some type of Messiah here to banish the sinister status quo. Individuals who would of never been caught dead on the right side of the political spectrum found themselves siding with far-right extremists, conspiracy theorists and cults (QAnon) just because of their rightful distrust in the corporate media and disingenuous politicians. (Someone should of pointed out to them that Fox News is corporate media as well). Obviously, Donald Trump was no great Messiah but was just like any other degenerate suit. He just talked louder and more obnoxiously.
The point to be taken here is that politicians; for the most part, have no more common sense than your average teenager in a corny nineteen eighties horror film. Their opinion and rhetoric should be irrelevant. What needs to be understood is that there is no way that the powers that shouldn’t be i.e. the powerful international banks, would allow something so joie de vivre as cryptocurrency to threaten their opulence. There is always a plan especially when it comes to multi-billion-dollar corporations with unlimited resources.
Take the Bank for International Settlements (BIS); the central bank of the central banks or the bankers banker. They are in full throttle over drive making sure they will succeed in centralizing digital currency. “Today we have the possibility to produce a technologically superior representation of central bank money. This can combine novel digital technologies with the tried-and-true characteristics of central banks – such as trust, transparency, legal backing and finality.”
The BIS has even created a BIS Innovation Hub to “mandate of the BIS Innovation Hub is to identify and develop in-depth insights into critical trends in financial technology of relevance to central banks, to explore the development of public goods to enhance the functioning of the global financial system, and to serve as a focal point for a network of central bank experts on innovation.”
“Central bank digital currencies, global stablecoins, payment innovations, the impact of big tech on financial intermediation, regtech and suptech, fast-paced electronic markets, and digitalization of trade finance” are all on the table for discussion pertaining to the BIS. Its also worth pointing out the Innovation Hubs Project Rio which is a “new application for monitoring fast-paced markets developed at the BIS Innovation Hub, allows the entire market order book to be monitored every 100 milliseconds, or 36,000 times every hour.”
Also worth pointing out is the central banks’ digital retail payment system which allow around the clock immediate settlement of payments between homes and business.’ Examples of these systems include India’s Unified Payment Interface (UPI), CoDi in Mexico, PIX in Brazil and the FedNow, a proposal in the United States. According to the BIS, “together, these innovations have shown that the existing system can adapt, providing good examples of how innovation in publicprivate partnerships is working.”
As for the Lord and Savior of the truthers and anarchistic type, Bitcoin is on the BIS’s watchlist as well. Here is what they had to say about it. “Bitcoin poses as its own unit of account, but fluctuations in value mean it is unrealistic to set prices in bitcoin. This also undermines its usefulness as a means of exchange and makes it a poor store of value. The structure of the Bitcoin market is decidedly concentrated and opaque, and there is research evidence on price manipulation” Clearly, Bitcoin will eventually become extinct making way for a more centralized and “safe” digital currency bestowed on society by the central banks.
Facebook has also put its skin in the game. One of the very tech companies that is in the hot seat by Congress. Not to mention being caught in the middle of a game of tug-of-war between both political parties. To the Democrats a haven for right-wing extremist and hate speech that allows fanatics to organize against diversity and equity. On the other side of the isle, the Republicans view Facebook as a creature of the liberal potentates who censors innocent conservatives for no reason. Yet is either side willing to except Facebook’s control over their money? Facebook’s Diem, originally called Libra, “would import credibility by being pegged to a basket of stable currencies like the US dollar and euro.” But much like Bitcoin the BIS wishes to heavily “regulate and supervise” it if such a currency became the norm. How noble of the BIS and central banks to protect the public from such a ubiquitous being. If only they were a public enterprise and not private like Facebook would such a proposal remedy the disquieting that has overcome many regarding Big Business.
In a report by the Bank of International Settlements titled, Digital currencies and the future of the monetary system, the BIS lays out its intensions for virtual identification. “Your virtual ID is key to government benefits like pensions and cash transfers. Some form of identification is crucial for the safety of the payment system, preventing fraud, and supporting anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT).”
The BIS goes onto to even inspire the depletion of privacy to authorities. “Good identification can help here, giving law enforcement authorities new tools to fulfil their mandate. So overall, my sense is that a purely anonymous system will not work.” The authoritarianism of law enforcement is quite infamous especially here in the United States where nationwide protest had occurred in almost every major city in the wake of the death of George Floyd and Brianna Taylor. In fact, protests have been a regular occurrence for the past decade do to deaths and shootings of unarmed black Americans at the hands of the police. To say nothing of the many innocent people of any ethnicity that fall victim to police harassment over obscure laws. The cops ride around in bullet proof vest in even the safest towns and keep tanks at their headquarters in some cases. It is almost like living in a fascistic state and now we are supposed to give up our financial privacy to them. This is a ludicrous idea that will only enhance authoritarian powers and liquidate freedom.
The Central Bank Digital Currencies:
There are two types of Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDC). One is “in the wholesale realm, for payments between financial institutions and large commercial parties.” The other is “in the retail space, and it is here where the real disruption lies. Retail digital currencies could be used in daily transactions by households and businesses, and depending on their design, they could upend our existing financial system.” The BIS goes onto state how the people of China feel completely comfortable sharing their data with their government and how those in the United States and Europe are sketchier. Blast, those pesky civil rights. Why can’t everyone just learn to hate freedom and trust the incompetent governments that are known for slavery and genocide. If Communist China can be trusted than why not Uncle Sam.
A vast majority of central banks are now doing research into CBDC. As of 2020, there has been a “live” CBDC in the Bahamas with their Sand Dollar project not to mention the large-scale pilots being conducted at the People’s Bank of China and even the Boston Federal Reserve is partnered up with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s MIT Digital Currency Initiative for the retail sector.
What’s Next for Digital Payments:
In a report by the Digital Monetary Institute (DMI) titled, The future of payments, one should take note of some of the characters that are praising this new phase of currency. Steve Kokinos, the CEO of Algorand which is “an open source public blockchain based on pure proof-of-stake consensus protocol that supports the scalability and transaction finality for billions of users.” In other words, it’s a type of Fintech solution.
Another cheerleader is Sky Guo CEO of Cypherium which is a mobile payment platform that works as a database to connect central banks digital currencies with digital assets and Apps around the planet. Sky Guo plays on the “helping the lower class” rhetoric in an attempt to make a convincing argument for necessity of CBDC and Cypherium. “Mobile payments systems help the financially underserved and enfranchise those excluded from participating in globalized commerce. Mobile payments systems also attempt to make that participation efficient and seamless.” Funny thing is, it was the very banks and corporations that caused the 2008 financial crisis that had all the big executives that caused the problem to be able to collect their bonuses while countless Americans were defaulting on their mortgages. And now the victims (American citizens) are supposed to trust these Mammon’s that they’ll put aside their Faustian behaviors for the little guy. Give me a break.
Speaking of the Great Recession, another fanboy of this dystopian wedding is Naveed Sultan, the global head of the treasury and trade solutions group at Citigroup, a prime culprit of the 2008 recession. Sultan states, to be effective, CBDC must “strike the balance between public infrastructure versus private sector solutions; the respective roles of central bank money versus commercial bank money; and expanded access to digital money versus financial crime risk.”
Sultan goes on to state that there is a need to update laws and regulations pertaining to digital currencies and how Citi is working with central banks and governments regarding healthy practices regulations. Well, that sounds wonderful. Except who is going to be regulating the crooks at Citi.
Of course, we can’t forget about the elderly, so they don’t get left behind in the digital dust. But have no fear Grab is here! Huey Tyng Ooi, the managing director and head of GrabPay at Grab has a solution to bring those old fashioned folks into the fold. Ooi states that it is necessary for governments and the private sector to push national education programs in order to convince the elderly, who will not be as tech-minded, into adapting to the digital age. Grab has already conducted such “digital clinics” in 2019, partnering with the Infocomm Media Development Authority “to help the elderly in Singapore understand how to use the services available on the GrabPay e-wallet.”
Ooi even states how “Covid-19 presents an opportunity to create a more sustained shift to digital payments. The pandemic has shown that for most businesses, survival depends on digitalization.”
It’s so reassuring to hear that all these corporate elites are profiting so nicely off of the pandemic while millions of regular people across the world are suffering and dying. Because what can be more productive than capitalizing off of the misery of others. With all these multi-billion-dollar corporations on board for a digital currency the one’s who really matter like civil rights and other activist group appear to be missing. The big tech and banking companies, the one’s that will profit off of it are included in these reports as opposed to organizations that represent lower- and working-class communities.
The idea of cryptocurrency being the way to opt out of the system and “fight the power” as Public Enemy stated, is ridiculous and insane. The only way to opt out is to literally opt out. Limit the amount of time your online not increase it. This digital obsession that has consumed society has traded people’s passion for freedom for convenience. We have become far too dependent on the system that its nearly impossible to fight it. Bottom line. If it has to do with tech than you no longer have any control over your money or your freedom.
Bank of International Settlements, Digital currencies and the future of the monetary system. bis pdf.pdf
Digital Monetary Institute, The future of payments. The_Future_of_Payments.pdf