Central bank Digital currencies (CBDCs) are digital versions of a country’s fiat currency that are issued and backed by the central bank. They will transform the way we think about and use money, as they can be used in the same way as physical cash but also offer some additional benefits such as increased speed, efficiency, and security. BUT at the same time have many disadvantages. Here are the main disadvantages of CBDC’s
- Higher levels of control for the governments and total control for central banks.
- Absolutely no privacy or anonymity for users.
- The central banks have the ability to determine the extent of an individual’s access to the financial system, and this control can be exercised if the banks view the person’s behavior as a threat for any reason.
- The potential for central banks to have greater visibility into accounts and to implement systems that allow them to penalize businesses or consumers for behaviors that they consider inappropriate or undesirable, like China’s social credit score system.
The above points are very dystopian, but at the same time very likely to be the reality of CBDCs. It feels like a Black Mirror episode coming to life in the real world.
One of the advantages of CBDCs is that they can enable faster and cheaper financial transactions. Traditional payment methods, such as bank transfers and credit card payments, often involve intermediaries that can slow down the process and increase costs. CBDCs, on the other hand, can be transferred directly from one person to another, without the need for intermediaries, which can make transactions faster and cheaper.
CBDCs can also increase financial inclusion, as they can be accessed by anyone with an internet connection. This is particularly beneficial for individuals who may not have access to traditional banking services, such as those living in rural areas or developing countries.
Another benefit of CBDCs is that they can increase the security of financial transactions. CBDCs can be issued on a blockchain, which is a decentralized and secure digital ledger that records transactions. This can make it much more difficult for transactions to be fraudulently altered or for hackers to gain access to sensitive financial information.
As the world becomes increasingly digital, central banks are feeling pressure to innovate and adopt central bank digital currencies, and I truly believe that Bitcoin has played a huge part in the banks’ scrambling to create them. While CBDCs offer a number of benefits to central banks, including more control, improved tracking and monitoring capabilities, and the ability to quickly implement monetary policy measures, they also carry some risks. My concern is that without proper safeguards, central banks and government agencies will abuse their newfound power and infringe on people’s rights. It is important for there to be a system of governance in place to protect individuals from overreach by these institutions. While there are both pros and cons to CBDCs, central banks may feel like they have no choice but to adopt them in order to keep pace with decentralization and remain relevant in a world that is shifting towards cryptocurrencies.