Just a brief note on the current state of digital currencies around the world, there’s been some big news.
A few days ago it was reported that China had become the first country to conduct cross-border trade using its own central bank-issued digital currency:
The digital yuan has been used for the first time to settle an oil transaction, the Shanghai Petroleum and Natural Gas Exchange (SHPGX) announced. PetroChina International bought 1 million barrels of crude on Oct. 19.
Meanwhile, the European Central Bank is working on the digital Euro, announcing the conclusion of the preliminary research phase and the start of a two-year pilot scheme earlier this week:
The European Central Bank (ECB) has completed the initial two-year investigation phase of its digital euro project and will now implement a two-year preparation phase that will cover the finalisation of a digital euro rulebook, the selection of providers to develop a digital euro platform and infrastructure, as well as testing and experimentation across a range of use cases for the central bank digital currency (CBDC).
The Digital Pound (“Britcoin”) is not far behind, with the Bank of England creating an “engagement forum” to work out the terms of usage.
While central banks are developing CBDCs around the world, payment platforms are working on “interoperability” – the ability of CBDCs to interact across national borders.
We covered Mastercard’s pilot scheme working with several CBDCs across national borders in a recent This Week, but we missed that Swift was running one of their own as well, again focusing on interoperability.
That’s the end game, not one global digital currency, but dozens of them that are all “interoperable”.
Or, in other words, one global digital currency.
There certainly seems to be a push on the CBDC at the moment. In an article from just a few days ago, Reuters headlined that it was “Time for central bank digital currencies to prove their worth”.
Perhaps some financial “crisis” is on the way that CDBCs will solve. Who knows.
Anyway, that’s state-backed digital currency. What’s new on the cryptocurrency front?
Well, for one thing, they are bad for the environment. According to a Daily Mail story from this morning:
Now Bitcoin is deemed bad for the environment: United Nations says mining cryptocurrency pumps out same amount of carbon as 40BILLION pounds of coal each year
Which is obviously terrible. But it gets worse: Cryptocurrency funds terrorism!
At least so says CNN:
How Hamas is using cryptocurrency to raise funds
In fact, the terrorist funding problem with cryptocurrency is so bad that companies have been forced – FORCED – to start freezing private assets. You know how they hate doing that.
That’s the news: “Bitcoin – bad for the environment, good for terrorists.”
While neither of these particular hot takes could truly be called “news” – the media talk about them all the time – it’s certainly telling they are both freshly in the headlines this week, don’t you think?
To sum up, state-issued digital currencies – which enable censorship surveillance, and social control – are good. Potentially anonymous distributed digital currencies fund terrorism and are bad for the environment.
Shocking, isn’t it?
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