Blockchain News

Central Bank Digital Currencies: Trojan Horse for Government Control, says Cato Institute President

Peter Goettler, the President of the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank, believes Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) serve as a Trojan horse for governments worldwide. According to Goettler, CBDCs are a response to the growing popularity of cryptocurrencies and are designed to increase state control and surveillance while limiting freedom and privacy for citizens.

The Drive for Centralization, Surveillance, and Control:

Goettler highlights that cryptocurrencies offer individuals the ability to transact outside traditional financial systems with enhanced privacy. However, governments perceive this innovation as a threat and respond by pursuing greater centralization, surveillance, and control through CBDCs.

CBDCs: Empowering the State:

Goettler, drawing from his experience as a former executive at Barclays, asserts that CBDCs are not suited to meet the public’s demand for freedom and privacy, despite claims made by international banking cartels. He argues that CBDCs are hastily being introduced solely to bolster the state’s and its controllers’ power.

The Illusion of Privacy and Anonymity:

Contrary to claims by CBDC proponents, Goettler dismisses the idea that CBDCs would maintain reasonable levels of anonymity and privacy. He explains that if anonymous transactions were allowed, governments would lose the perceived benefits of CBDCs. Moreover, implementing privacy mechanisms in CBDCs would require disregarding existing anti-money laundering (AML) laws, an unrealistic expectation.

Unrealistic Expectations and Alternative Payment Options:

Goettler challenges the notion that CBDCs can provide privacy protection. He argues that if people have alternative payment options, such as cash, governments cannot exert the same control over citizens’ spending. Furthermore, he points out that governments are unlikely to implement CBDCs with fewer requirements than those imposed on private firms in the name of safety and security.

Government’s Stance on Privacy:

Goettler emphasizes that governments have already outlawed anonymous transactions with private financial institutions and are unlikely to engage in anonymous transactions with the public themselves. The existing anti-money laundering framework would likely be upheld, making it improbable for CBDCs to offer a privacy advantage over traditional forms of exchange.

According to Peter Goettler, CBDCs represent a Trojan horse, enabling governments to consolidate control and surveillance at the expense of individual rights, freedom, and privacy. The rush to introduce CBDCs reflects governments’ desire for increased power, while alternative private solutions continue to emerge. The implementation of CBDCs, in reality, poses challenges to preserving privacy, making it crucial for citizens to consider the implications of these digital currencies on their financial autonomy.


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