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  • Doug Wakefield

The Cashless Path, Going Digital, Part 2

Updated: Dec 16, 2023

If you did not read Part 1 of The Cashless Path, I would encourage you to review this material before moving on. In Part 1, you will see patents by Microsoft and Visa that deal with cryptocurrencies and digital currencies that were released almost 4 years ago. You will also learn of a trend that started in the last few years called Reverse ATMs.


In Part 2, I will start with an Executive Order that President Biden released in March 2022. The name of the EO and Section 1: Policy make it very clear that this is of major importance to the federal government.





Think back to the Microsoft and Visa patents that were published in 2020. Is it not clear that big business is pushing this trend as much as government and central banks?


“The central entity computer transmits a notification of the generation of the digital currency. The central entity computer causes removal of the physical currency from circulation in a fiat currency system. [Bold text my own] Visa/US Patent 2020/0151682, published on 5/14/20




While most Americans’ financial concerns center around their mortgage payments or retirement accounts, the Better Than Cash Alliance “accelerates to advance the transition from cash to responsible digital payments”. Once again, we see the private-public partnership strategy working at the global level to achieve this “transition”. Check it out. I am sure you will recognize many of the names.



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Having been influenced by the Austrian School of Economics in my thinking since attending the Mises Institute in 2004, I searched “Mises Institute on CBDC” for an article on this topic. The following are comments from a piece titled, Central Bank Digital Currency: A Primer. As those at the highest levels of government, companies, and international organizations rush to move from “cash to responsible digital payments”, here are a few things for the average citizen of a sovereign nation state to consider:



Privacy: the most private way of engaging in commerce, the only one that leaves no paper trail, is still paying in physical cash. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies cannot compete here, although sophisticated techniques may bring them close. In any case, when it comes to CBDC there can be no question of privacy: as the ECB (European Central Bank) explicitly stated in their recent report on the issue,3 it will be necessary to make it possible to access every single transaction—all in the name of combating money laundering and terrorism, of course. Whatever the merit of such concerns (spoiler alert: abysmal), the clear outcome will be to make all transactions transparent to the central bank and to whomever the bank chooses to share the information with.


Central bank control:… People can, therefore, should they so desire, hold a large proportion of their wealth in the form of cash and there is essentially nothing the central bank could do about it. Or rather, whatever measures it can take are both very costly and blind; i.e., it cannot target those individuals whose cash balance is deemed excessive. With a digital currency, on the other hand, the central bank would have both the power and the knowledge needed to control how much each and every person and company holds…. The ECB, for instance, openly speaks about capping the amount a person can hold, limiting the time a person can hold an amount of money, and imposing negative interest rates on amounts that the bank deems excessive. All this would be virtually impossible if people used physical cash instead of digital currency.


In Conclusion:… Bitcoin is an attempt to preserve wealth by placing it outside the reach of government; CBDCs are intended to frustrate that end. If, following Rothbard,4 we interpret history as a struggle between liberty and power, between free society and state dominance, we might say that central bank digital currency is simply the latest weapon in the arsenal of the state in its quest to dominate society completely.”


While we would like to stay in our glass houses and not consider these enormous changes, we must consider them now. Is there an easy answer regarding where to place one’s funds? Answer, NO. Is this something that will change our daily lives? Answer, YES. We must talk with each other. We must make decisions. None of us have gone where we are headed, included those at the highest levels of finance.

 

As we start 2024, in Part 3 on The Cashless Path, we will dive into a 38-year trend that ended in March 2020 that has been a long-term cycle spanning 150 years and how this trend fits with the rush to release a CBDC dollar. We will continue to talk about things that are happening right now as we live through them together.

 

Enjoy this Christmas season. Spend time with those you love.


My head continues to spin when I think about the historic changes that could take place before the next one.


I would encourage you to share this article. Read. Think. Talk. Make Decisions. Comments welcomed.



 

 

 

 




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