Payment records paint a detailed picture of an individual's behavior. They reveal wealth, health, and interests, but individuals do not want the burden of deciding which are sensitive or private.1 Central banks are exploring options to digitize cash. As of January 2023, 27 of the 38 member states of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) have announced retail central bank digital currency (CBDC) research and projects.a
The issue of privacy needs to move center stage. Decades of work on privacy-enhancing technologies have highlighted that privacy does not come for free, it is easy to get wrong, and it is imperative to design before deployment.
Very interesting indeed.
It bears mentioning that the "Privacy Landscape" is only one aspect of "Central Bank Digital Currencies". The aspect of "control" provided by such schemes is even more important, and arguably the one feature that interests governments the most, even if they tend to hide that fact behind smirks and filler phrases. As Canada's recent excursion in frankly fascist suppression of dissent during the "trucker protests" has shown, controlling the people's ability to pay or receive payment is and - in the future - will be misused to control the masses. A centralized, non-physical, electronically controlled payment system is the overbearing State's greatest dream. (More on this here: https://mises.org/wire/dangers-posed-state-controlled-digital-currency )
In fact, Central Bank Digital Currencies, like Gain-of-Function research or mRNA-based "vaccines", may well be a really bad idea that should not be considered and possibly be outlawed for the safety of all. What's wrong with current debit cards or cash? Absolutely nothing.
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