Friday, March 15, 2024

Money Developments (5c) Compulsory Change

The nature of money and banking would change dramatically if the government made it compulsory for people and businesses to use the CBDC for all transactions requiring payment of money. Such a change would be really concerning for everyone, as it would give the government much greater control over the buying and selling of both people and businesses. It would represent a significant loss of freedom.

If people and businesses were forced to use the CBDC for all transactions, the existing retail banks would probably fight hard to prevent it from happening, as it would be a serious constraint on their business. They would lose several very profitable activities. I am not sure how effective these institutions would be in preventing the government from making the change if it was determined.

Implanted Microchips
If a smartphone app is used to initiate CBDC transactions, security will be important. Processes for identification using fingerprints, voice prints, face recognition or iris scanning are already operational. These should provide sufficient security for a CBDC. Some Christians are suggesting that a microchip under the skin on the wrist or forehead will be introduced to increase the security of the CBDC, but this does not seem to be necessary, given that existing methods of security are effective.

The problem with an implanted microchip is that it could be accessed without authorisation. If a microchip can be read by an ATM or a terminal in a retail shop, criminals would be able to develop scanners that would be able to read the information on the microchip. They would also be able to write to the microchip and change the information on it. So having an implanted microchip would be less secure than using a smartphone.

If a person was kidnapped by criminals, the microchip under their skin could easily be removed by force. It is not hard to imagine groups of thugs mugging people and holding them down while they cut out their microchip so they could use it to make transactions.

An implanted microchip is a fairly useless technology. Without a power supply, its computing activity would be very limited, and its hardware would quickly get out of date. A chip under the skin cannot have a display screen or keypad for data entry. It would not be able to link to a mobile or wireless network, so it would be useless for communication or computing activities.

The flood of Christian books warning of the dangers of a microchip under the skin for financial transactions were written back in the days before smartphones when a microchip under the skin seemed like the only realistic way to make digital transactions. Now that most people have smartphones and they are accustomed to keeping them secure, a chip under the skin is unnecessary.

Government Control
Modern governments claim the right to control every aspect of life if they think they can do good. They claim the right to freeze the assets of people, companies and nations if they don’t approve their activities. They also claim the right to prevent people and businesses from buying or selling if they do not approve of their activities. This power is usually enforced through instructions to the banking system. Banks are dependent on the government for their license to operate, so they usually comply with government requirements.

A CBDC would make government control easier to achieve because they would only have to work through one agency. However, they are already able to achieve control through their influence on the banking system as a whole, so their ability to control would not be greatly enhanced if a CBDC was introduced. However, it could make their monitoring and control easier if they enforced the use of the CBDC for all payments.

The limits on government will always be legal, not capability. A CBDC would just make it easier to do things that governments mostly already have the legal authority to do.

Modern governments believe they have a responsibility to manage everyone’s behaviour, and they have a variety of technologies to control people effectively. Whatever their money system, modern governments have the power to prevent people from buying and selling. There are risks to digital transactions, but there are risks with all aspects of life. Holding wads of notes would provide very little protection.

This full series can be read on Substack in an article called Money Developments

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