Renowned podcaster and commentator Joe Rogan recently made waves with his bold stance against the concept of a United States central bank digital currency (CBDC), suggesting that a digital dollar could usher in a “game over” scenario for American citizens. This perspective emerged during an episode of the highly-popular podcast, the Joe Rogan Experience, where Rogan and rapper Post Malone delved into the intricacies of the U.S. financial system. Their conversation took a sharp turn towards the potential abuses of power that could accompany the introduction of CBDCs in the United States.
Drawing a staggering audience of over 11 million listeners per episode, Joe Rogan’s podcast wields immense influence. Likewise, Post Malone commands a substantial online presence with 31 million followers across platforms like Twitter and Instagram. The timing of their discussion aligns with the growing prominence of CBDC conversations within the context of U.S. presidential campaigns.
Rogan minced no words when expressing his skepticism about CBDCs: “Absolutely not. That’s a resounding no from me. That’s a checkmate situation right there. It’s essentially game over.”
In Rogan’s bleak scenario, he envisaged a dystopian future where an authoritarian government could tether the circulation of a CBDC to individuals’ social credit scores, enabling them to sever financial access due to rule-breaking behaviour.
Rogan elaborated on this notion, “Imagine a scenario where they institute a social credit score system, supposedly for the greater good of society. They can monitor your actions, your social media posts, your entire digital footprint… And if they decide you’ve transgressed, well, you’re out of luck. Rules are rules.”
Post Malone chimed in with his concerns about the U.S. banking system, highlighting the limitations of FDIC insurance that only shields bank accounts up to $250,000. The duo also delved into the controversial case of the Canadian government freezing the bank accounts associated with the “Freedom Convoy” truckers in February of the previous year. Malone asserted that the U.S. government’s extensive control over the financial flow of ordinary citizens raises the alarming prospect of abrupt fund cutoffs.
These apprehensions resonate with ardent proponents of decentralized cryptocurrencies, who often champion these assets’ autonomy and privacy.
The discourse around CBDCs has become a central theme in U.S. politics. Republican presidential candidate and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis vowed to outlaw CBDCs if he secures the presidency, while Democratic contender Robert F. Kennedy Jr. criticized CBDCs as instruments of “control.” Should he assume the highest office, Kennedy pledged his support for underpinning the U.S. dollar with tangible assets like Bitcoin, currently valued at $29,489.
In a landscape marked by excitement and trepidation, the clash of opinions on CBDCs underscores the significance of crafting a financial future that aligns with the values and aspirations of the American populace.