Appearing on the Joe Rogan Experience, British broadcaster Maajid Nawaz has shone a light on the grim reality of central bank digital currencies (CBDC).
As Nawaz pointed out to Rogan on Saturday’s episode of the popular podcast, part of the reason that legislators are so drawn to the notion of a CBDC is that this form of money is programmable and controllable.
“What they want to do is bring in this thing called the central banking digital currency,” begins Nawaz. “They want to replace fiat paper money with digital money as a competitor to bitcoin and crypto money. But instead of being a decentralized currency, it will be controlled by the government.”
“This sounds terrifying,” says Rogan.
“If you try to buy unhealthy meat it just won’t work. You tap your card, you can’t buy that thing, but because you’ve met your quota of burgers – you’ll have to buy a vegan meal instead,” explained Nawaz.
The warning might at first sound like the stuff of conspiracy theory, but legislators have admitted to exploring the possibility. In June of last year, Tom Mutton, a director of the Bank of England, spoke openly and plainly on the matter.
“There could be some socially beneficial outcomes from that [programming money], preventing activity which is seen to be socially harmful in some way. But at the same time it could be a restriction on people’s freedoms,” says Mutton.
CBDC issue becoming increasingly relevant
CBDCs present the danger of state powers micro-managing people’s lives right down to the food they eat, the places they travel to, and the activities in which they are allowed to engage. Little wonder that China has been the first nation to pioneer a CBDC, unveiling the technology at this years’ Winter Olympics in Beijing.
While there may be some skepticism about western governments leveraging those powers as a tool for population control, recent lessons from the Canadian trucker protests suggest there is less room for complacency.
As Nawaz went on to tell Rogan, the UK’s financial leader, Rishi Sunak (known as the Chancellor of the Exchequer), has openly advocated for CBDC technology both in the UK and overseas. In a video Nawaz shared with Rogan, Sunak even extolled the virtues of CBDCs at the G7 conference.
The current G7 is France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the US, the United Kingdom and Canada. Every single one is currently researching or trialing CBDC technology.
Nawaz is not the only commentator to predict the potential implications of such a technology, but thanks to his intervention on Joe Rogan’s podcast, more people than ever before are aware of the problem.
A CBDC dystopia may yet await. The greatest line of defense is decentralized cryptocurrency and bitcoin.