—— 12 months ago · 6 min read ——

Dangers of CBDCs

How to protect against CBDCs, an Orwellian tool of modern governments.

In the last couple of weeks, the news has been full of new central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) cooperations, plans or implementations. Governments and central banks all around the world seem to be working hard on implementing this Orwellian tool that could endanger financial privacy, human rights or freedom of choice or transaction.

Only in the very recent past, countries of Kazakhstan, Thailand, India or the United Kingdom have either started implementing and testing CBDCs, or have elected leaders who have been outspoken supporters of it. Due to this, it is very important for people to understand the pitfalls connected to CBDCs.

That is why we will closely look at the possible dangers of CBDCs and show how they can easily affect anyone who decides to use them. At the end, we will also try to look at how Whir can help fight against these draconic tools.

What are CBDCs?

Before we dig deep into all the flaws that CBDCs have, let’s first look at what they are. Central bank digital currencies are digital representations of money (cash). While many can rightly point out to the fact that the current system uses digital forms of money, the difference between how the current state of the financial world works and how it would work under CBDCs, is immeasurable.

CBDCs would be issued directly by the central bank and “delivered” straight to the wallets of the users of these tools in a digital form. This would mean that people would not have to open bank accounts with traditional, commercial banks, but rather with their central bank. And while this may sound like a good option, the contrary is true.

While many central banks will state that their CBDCs are just like cryptocurrencies, but regulated or without scams, there are very few things that are similar between CBDCs and cryptocurrencies. Some central banks might be prone to using blockchain technology, however, since it will be under complete surveillance and control of the central bank, one might argue that it is irrelevant. Other than the fact that both of these financial instruments are digital, there is not much they have in common when it comes to key characteristics or features.

Dangers of CBDCs

Central banks around the world are now trying to figure out the best way to roll out their CBDCs. Before they do that, they have been doing different case studies looking at pros and cons of CBDCs. However, very few of them actually looked at cons to the end user.

Most of them looked at the pros and cons from the eyes of the central bank. Yet, the cons to the end user, which will be all the people in the given jurisdiction that adopts CBDCs, are incredibly important as they can literally change their lives. And very few people could argue how they would change it for the better as it now seems that there are many more flaws to the customers than there are benefits. Here are just some of the problems connected to CBDCs.

1. Complete loss of privacy

Probably the biggest danger of CBDCs is complete loss of privacy. In a centralized system, where the central bank issues money, it knows exactly what the users are purchasing, when, where, how often etc. The central bank will thus become this omnipresent institution that will have the power over the users.

There are central banks that argue that some form of privacy will be possible with CBDCs. However, they very quickly state that this would only be for the smallest transactions, usually up to 200 dollars. And even if that is the case, the users would still need to trust the central bank that they are not spying even on those transactions.

2. Censorship of transactions

Another danger of CBDCs is the fact that the central bank will have the power to censor transactions. This is a huge issue since thanks to this, the central bank would be able to shape the behavior of the people. From stopping transactions due to their “carbon footprint” to not allowing payments due to the political views of the people, the censorship of transactions would very quickly become one of the biggest problems of people living in the given jurisdiction.

This would mean that in case an unfavorable government is in charge of the country, ordinary people can see the quality of their lives deteriorate very quickly just because they are of opposing views to their government, which, through the central bank, will have the power to directly affect the spending of their opposition.

3. Profiling and data extortion

Yet another problem with CBDCs is the fact that the central banks will be able to see all the transactions. In the age when data is the most important commodity, all this information about the user can be misused, sold or stolen.

All of these could present an immediate threat to the people, since their spending habits and profiles could easily become targets of unwanted attention, if the central bank decides to capitalize on this information. Or if they get hacked, which everyone knows is an ever-present threat to centralized institutions with a single point of failure.

4. Manipulation of spending habits

In connection to spending habits, CBDCs can become a huge weapon over the people, since central banks will be able to program it. This means that they could create for instance coupons for specific products, such as vegetables or fruits for instance, meaning that the users will be able to buy only these products with the given money.

Additionally, there could be time locks to the coupons as well, meaning that people will have limited time to spend their money. While this means that people would be forced to spend quicker, it could also lead to central banks being completely in charge of daily spending of people in the jurisdiction.

Privacy-oriented financial tools

One of the best possible ways to fight this sort of oppression, is to be ready. That means, having and knowing how to use the tools that will allow people to transact in a free, censorship-resistance and ideally private way.

Bitcoin offers such a solution, if used correctly. And one of those “correct uses” relies on Whir. Whir allows anyone to send and receive Bitcoin privately without any third-party being able to censor the transaction.

Conclusion

CBDCs are becoming ever more mentioned in the mainstream media. However, their dangers to the society as well as to individuals, are far greater than any benefits central banks pretend they can have. Thus, if people around the world want to make sure that they are ready to fight against CBDCs, they need to know what tools they can use. Whir is a very simple and easy-to-use solution that provides just that.

Disclaimer: This article does not serve as a piece of financial advice or encouragement and inducement for the usage of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Its primary role is informative, explanatory, and educational. The readers have to decide themselves whether to use or not to use these types of services.

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