Edward Snowden calls the central bank digital currencies “the newest danger cresting the public horizon,” whose goal is to deprive users of the right to control their money.
On October 9, Snowden published an article dedicated to central bank digital currencies (CBDCs). He called them perversion of cryptocurrencies and cryptofascist currencies. Snowden points out that CBDCs are “designed to deny its users the basic ownership of their money and to install the State at the mediating center of every transaction.”
“I will tell you what a CBDC is NOT—it is NOT, as Wikipedia might tell you, a digital dollar. After all, most dollars are already digital, existing not as something folded in your wallet, but as an entry in a bank’s database, faithfully requested and rendered beneath the glass of your phone. Neither is a Central Bank Digital Currency a State-level embrace of cryptocurrency—at least not of cryptocurrency as pretty much everyone in the world who uses it currently understands it,” Snowden emphasizes in her article.
According to Snowden, CBDCs run counter to the fundamental principles of decentralized cryptocurrencies. This is an “evil twin” of cryptocurrencies.
“CBDC proponents claim that this will make everyday transactions both safer (by removing counterparty risk), and easier to tax (by rendering it well nigh impossible to hide money from the government).”
Snowden notes that the digital dollar will be another manifestation of the ever-encroaching surveillance state. The true purpose of central bank digital currencies is to discourage free financial interaction under the cover of paternalistic concerns.
“The State claiming that in the absence of its own loving intermediation, the market will inevitably devolve into unlawful gambling dens and fleshpots rife with tax fraud, drug deals, and gun-running.
It’s difficult to countenance this claim, however, when according to none other than the Office of Terrorist Financing and Financial Crimes at the US Department of the Treasury, “Although virtual currencies are used for illicit transactions, the volume is small compared to the volume of illicit activity through traditional financial services.”