Jake Chervinsky, head of policy at crypto advocacy group the Blockchain Association, said the United States should be careful to avoid a “totalitarian nightmare” in its potential launch of a central bank digital currency, or CBDC.

Speaking at Austin’s SXSW festival on Tuesday in a panel on ‘Financial Surveillance in a Cashless Society’, Chervinsky said though U.S. President Joe Biden had issued an executive order establishing a national strategy for cryptocurrencies in the United States, there were potential privacy concerns over the country launching a CBDC. Empowering a government to surveil its citizens using a CBDC, “sounds like the kind of thing China would do” with its digital yuan, according to the Blockchain Association policy head.

“It seems that a central bank digital currency would be under the total and complete control of the government,” said Chervinsky. “So at all times the government would know what you are spending, where you are spending on it. They could program the central bank digital currency so they could put in restrictions and say ‘you are only allowed to spend these dollars in these certain places but not in those other places.’ They could freeze accounts or take money out of the accounts at any time.”

The Blockchain Association policy head added:

“Our hope is that when the government does this study [as established by the executive order] […] the conclusion they will reach is we will not compete against China — an authoritarian dictatorship — by also acting like an authoritarian dictatorship. Instead we will…


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