James Rickards and the Argument Against CBDCs

Azeez Mustapha

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Inflation continues to eat deep into the value of the dollar. Compared to last year, there’s only a handful of items you can purchase with a $100 bill.

Despite this obvious setback, your government-issued bill has one critical advantage over the central bank digital currency (CBDC); you can use it in any purchase while maintaining your privacy.

American economist and investment banker James G. Rickards has been one of the most vocal critics of CBDCs, faulting their lack of privacy. Rickards recently explained what he believes to be the biggest difference between the current monetary system and CBDCs, noting:

“CBDCs make it much easier to impose negative interest rates, confiscations, and account freezes on some or all account holders. This can be used for simple policy purposes or as a tool of the total surveillance state.”

Rickards Differentiates Between Cryptocurrency and CBDC

Drawing distinctions between CBDCs and cryptocurrency, the veteran investor explained: “CBDCs are not cryptocurrencies. The CBDCs are digital in form, are recorded on a ledger (maintained by a central bank or Finance Ministry), and the message traffic is encrypted. Still, the resemblance to cryptos ends there.”

He also noted that central bank-issued digital currency ledgers are not built on the blockchain, adding that they do not “embrace the decentralized issuance model hailed by the crypto crowd.” Instead, CBDCs are centralized tools and will be tightly monitored and controlled by their issuing central bank. Rickards also faulted the narrative that these digital assets are novel innovations, arguing:

“CBDCs are not new currencies. They are the same currencies you already know (dollars, yuan, euros, yen, sterling) in a new form, using new payment channels.”

Rickards cited China as an example of what could be following the mass adoption of a CBDC. He explained that with this digital currency, Chinese authorities have frozen the funds of protesters, to the tune of about $178 million, also turning their “health code” red. Without a green code, citizens cannot access public transport or go to public spaces, essentially cutting them at the knees.

Rickards worries that this could be the fate of the world if CBDCs are allowed to gather significant degrees of adoption by the public. To him, CBDCs are a threat and cannot be trusted in the hands of governments.

 

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Azeez Mustapha

Azeez Mustapha is a trading professional, currency analyst, signals strategist, and funds manager with over ten years of experience within the financial field. As a blogger and finance author, he helps investors understand complex financial concepts, improve their investing skills, and learn how to manage their money.

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