Editor’s Note: This article from our premium news partners at The Epoch Times does a great job of breaking down what’s happening now with Central Bank Digital Currencies as well as what to expect. Most importantly, it highlights what we should all be doing now to prepare. While I and others will continue to fight to prevent them, it seems more and more likely that they will be implemented in the very near future. Please read through the article and consider sharing it with those you know. Our best bet to stop it is with an informed population. Our best way to handle it if we cannot stop it is by having allies who are prepared with us to engage in alternatives. With that said, here’s Grant Miller…
We’ve all heard stories about people who survived the Great Depression by hiding cash under their mattresses or burying it in their yards because they’d lost trust in banks.
Imagine taking it a step further and taking money from the flawed banking system and putting it into the untrustworthy hands of the government.
That’s what will happen when America embraces central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), as many other countries already have.
There will be no way of hiding money you have because it will all be digital, and it will all be tracked and controlled by the U.S. government. And it’s looking more and more likely that America will have a CBDC sooner rather than later.
Here’s what you need to know so you can prepare.
The Current Status of CBDCs Around the World
A CBDC is essentially a digital form of currency centralizing all of a country’s citizens financial information in a digital database controlled by the government.
Here is what CBDCs currently look like globally:
Fox Business reports, “One hundred and fourteen countries are exploring digital currencies, and their collective economies represent more than 95 percent of the world’s GDP.”
A recent report by the Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum (OMFIF) found that two-thirds of the central banks said they would issue a CBDC within 10 years.
In January 2023, Bank of America even suggested CBDCs “are the natural evolution of money and payments.” In the Bank of America report, analyst Alkesh Shah wrote that CBDCs have “the potential to revolutionize global financial systems and may be the most significant technological advancement in the history of money.”
One nation in particular, China, has already embraced CBDCs. The digital yuan is being used by millions of Chinese citizens, giving the government the ability “to obtain vast amounts of public data and strengthen its surveillance state. CBDCs will give the Chinese government authority to turn off people’s money like a light switch.”
India, Nigeria, and the Bahamas have also already embraced CBDCs.
The Current CBDC Narrative in America
At this point, the U.S. federal government is quick to say, “We have no plans to create a CBDC.”
A September 2022 White House report states: “A United States central bank digital currency (CBDC) would be a digital form of the U.S. dollar. While the U.S. has not yet decided whether it will pursue a CBDC, the U.S. has been closely examining the implications of, and options for, issuing a CBDC.”
The Federal Reserve also states: “While the Federal Reserve has made no decisions on whether to pursue or implement a central bank digital currency, or CBDC, we have been exploring the potential benefits and risks of CBDCs from a variety of angles, including through technological research and experimentation.”
In a FAQs section of the Federal Reserve website, it states: “The Federal Reserve issued Money and Payments: The U.S. Dollar in the Age of Digital Transformation as a first step in fostering a broad and transparent public dialogue about CBDCs in general, and about the potential benefits and risks of a U.S. CBDC. The paper is not intended to advance any specific policy outcome, and no decisions have been made at this time. The Federal Reserve does not intend to proceed with issuance of a CBDC without clear support from the executive branch and from Congress, ideally in the form of a specific authorizing law.”
However, the United States is clearly studying CBDCs with the idea of one day implementing one. Now is the time to start stocking up on tangible items of value that cannot be taken by the powers that be, including cash, water filters, and emergency survival food.
What America Is Actually Doing
After reading all the emphatic “No, we are not implementing a CBDC” statements, it’s more telling to see what our government is actually doing.
This is quoted straight from the Federal Reserve website: “The Federal Reserve is engaged in a number of experiments related to digital currencies, including a hypothetical CBDC.”
Moreover, news was recently released that the Federal Reserve Bank of New York has already been experimenting with a CBDC. In November 2022, an official from the New York Fed announced that over the past several months, the bank had been working on a wholesale CBDC to speed up transfers between banks around the world.
Recently, the World Economic Forum (composed of billionaires and not elected officials) met in Davos, Switzerland, and one of the major topics that was discussed were CBDCs.
According to the World Economic Forum on Jan. 17, 2023: “Over the past year, an interdisciplinary research team funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and including the MIT Digital Currency Initiative, Maiden Labs, University of Virginia, and 13 research teams in India, Indonesia, Nigeria, and Mexico examined where existing payments technologies were failing to serve society’s most vulnerable members and whether a central bank digital currency (CBDC) might fill this gap.”
Pay attention to the Americans involved in this major discussion.
The Risks of CBDC
You may be wondering why a CBDC would be a problem. Some people mistakenly believe that because they never use cash and rely on their debit or credit cards, this is no different. Wrong.
A CBDC takes the control of money from banking institutions into its own hands.
According to The CATO Institute: “The problem is that there is no limit to the level of control that the government could exert over people if money is purely electronic and provided directly by the government. A CBDC would give federal officials full control over the money going into–and coming out of–every person’s account.”
Here are just a few examples of what that sort of total control may look like:
- Government in total control—The government could not only withhold money whenever they deemed fit but they could also devalue the currency.
- Lack of privacy—The government will be aware of all of your financial information, what you owe and to whom, what you are spending money on, and what assets you have.
- The end of personal security—No longer can you “hide” savings under your mattress. The government will always know how much you have and will have access to it.
- Tracking of purchases—The government will be able to track everything you purchase—and potentially stop you from buying it. Let’s say it is something the political party in charge disagrees with, such as legalized marijuana. They can track you and prevent you from purchasing it again.
- Tracking pornography purchases, abortion payments, tax evasion, and more. While you may not think this is a bad idea, what if it goes a step further? What if they think you need to eat less red meat?
- Hacking and data breaches—My head hurts just thinking of all the ways a CBDC could be attacked by hackers or cyber terrorists.
Real News Stories That Show the Weaponization of Money
It would be easy to dismiss what I am saying as a little too extreme. But we are already seeing how this is happening.
Remember the Freedom Convoy through Canada? Authorities froze as many as 257 bank accounts of protestors to prevent protestors from making necessary purchases and to end the protest.
Multiple news stories came up in the past few years where conservatives have had their bank accounts closed without notice simply because they posed a “reputational risk” for the banking institutions. If banks can close accounts of those they don’t agree with, what will the government do?
In China, it’s getting scarier by the minute.
Hackernoon writes, “Already, countries like China have ‘social credit systems’ that determine your access to certain services, based on your political views, shopping habits, online activity, work history, and other attributes. Pairing social credit systems with CBDCs means governments can ‘punish’ those who contravene its rules by stopping them from spending money.”
Governments can also limit how much and where you spend your money. In Nigeria in December 2022, the government limited cash withdrawals to $45 a day to push citizens to their CBDC.
How to Prepare for CBDC Tyranny
The truth is that it is only a matter of time before we are cashless and living with a CBDC. It’s better to start preparing for it now than waiting to see if it will really happen. These steps should help:
- Get your financial house in order. Start by getting your finances in order. Pay down any debt you have, make wise investments, and set aside savings. Work with more trustworthy banking and credit institutions.
- Make wise purchases today. Think carefully about what you buy today. There may come a day when you won’t feel safe making those same purchases (such as handguns or ammo).
- Stock up on bartering supplies. When America embraces a CBDC, not everyone will be on board. But cash will be useless. In this case, you’ll have to barter. Stock up on items that will be easy to barter in the future.
- Pay attention. Stay aware of what is happening. For example, the Federal Reserve pilot CBDC program was announced right before Thanksgiving, when people likely weren’t paying attention.
Editor’s Commentary: Arguably the biggest reason I am so bullish on PHYSICAL precious metals is because with the coming push to implement CBDCs, gold and silver make a lot of sense for two big reasons (and a dozen or so smaller reasons).
First and foremost, a self-managed precious metals IRA acquired through the right freedom-loving companies allows our retirements to be distributed in physical precious metals. When a properly situated precious metals IRA replaces your current market-based retirement accounts, you can request distributions in the form of the actual physical coins being delivered to you. Rather than being forced to liquidate them, you can just take possession of the coins or bars that are being stored on your behalf.
Second, having physical precious metals on-hand allows you to do as Mr. Miller recommended in the article. The only items that have been valuable in both traditional economies and barter societies throughout human history are precious metals. So if everything the powers-that-be are planning comes to pass, you’ll have value in the physical precious metals. If we’re able to somehow turn things around and stave off the economic Armageddon many are predicting, those same precious metals will still have value. For physical precious metals, I recommend (and use) Our Gold Guy, Ira Bershatsky.
Article cross-posted from The Epoch Times.