Over the past few years, digital assets, including cryptocurrencies, have seen explosive growth, shooting past the $3 trillion market cap in November 2021. It is estimated that roughly 40 million people have invested, traded, or used cryptocurrencies in general.
With such a meteoric rise, an opportunity was given to the US to step up and show leadership in the global financial system by finding a way to stay on the cusp of digital currency evolution while protecting consumers, businesses, and the broader financial system. Thus came into being order #14067, “Ensuring Responsible Development of Digital Assets,” signed on March 9, otherwise known as President Biden’s executive order on crypto.
In this line, James Rickards, former advisor to the Pentagon, the White House, Congress, the CIA, and the Department of Defense, joined the author of the personal finance book ‘Rich Dad, Poor Dad’ Robert Kiyosaki on The Rich Dad podcast on March 9, to discuss the order labeling it as ‘spyware.’
“This would dramatically expand the power and influence of the federal government <…> essentially acting as a new type of “spyware.”
Kiyosaki labeled this scenario akin to a dystopian-sounding future like out of George Orwell’s 1984 novel:
“Jim this is like George Orwell’s Big Brother is watching, on steroids.”
It’s not online banking
Rickard’s worries regarding the executive order revolve around the ‘hidden agenda’ behind it, which according to him, is accelerating the move toward the central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), which Kiyosaki himself had earlier slammed as ’spyware.’
“This is why we’re sounding the alarm a little bit on executive order 14067. Once it’s digital <…> now they’re going to know what you’re buying. Because every product has an SKU – stock keeping unit code. With it, with a QR scan digital scan, they would know what you’re buying uh, and this digital currency is programmable meaning they can block certain purchases or not,” Rickard’s said.
In essence, the worry is that a central bank digital currency, besides making the transactions possibly cheaper and faster, will usher in a scenario akin to the world in Orwell’s book ‘1984’, where a ‘Big Brother’ would hold the reins of finances and decisions people made in their lives.
It is hard to argue that a tracking mechanism won’t be built into the central digital currency; on the other hand, it is hard to predict an Orwellian conclusion to the entire saga.
Oversight and legislation regarding digital currencies don’t necessarily have to be a bad thing, but time will tell how it plays out in the end.
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