The danger of CBDC's

22 februari 2023 | Forum for Democracy Intl

Jelena Postuma is an economist, writer, columnist and politician in the Almere City Council. On Friday 17 February, she gave a lecture at the Renaissance Institute in Amsterdam on the dangers of Central Bank Digital Currencies. She was interviewed beforehand.

This week, it became clear that the government is ushering us into a digital identity via the EU, without the approval of the Lower House of the Dutch Parliament. But it has not actually been a big news story at all. CBDCs are a similar development, but they never get much attention in the national press either. Why do you think that is?

It is a tried-and-tested method of the EU to implement major developments, which logically can be expected to attract a lot of criticism, as silently as possible, until a point of no return is reached. If people were aware of how far the European Central Bank has already gone with the development of CBDCs, and what it will mean for them in the future, there would be much more resistance to these developments - which is why little attention is paid to them. 

Besides, complex issues like the digital passport and the CBDC are seen by many people as too complicated and boring.  They seem remote.  Since the mainstream media aims to attract as many viewers and readers as possible, they are more likely to focus on more manageable, concrete topics. Ultimately, this is to the detriment of readers, who, when the CBDC is actually introduced, will be overwhelmed by its consequences. 

Therefore, it is important to gather as much information on the subject oneself, either through alternative media or directly through ECB reports, and share it with as many people as possible. This is the first step in preparing for and arming yourself against the coming of the CBDC.


Why do you think people often go along with these kinds of technological developments so easily? 

Many people value convenience. They especially find it "easy" when they can pay anywhere with their smartphone and QR code, or when all their data is "easily" combined with a digital passport. The convenience is immediately visible to many people, while the dangers, such as the loss of privacy and eventually even freedom, are even more abstract and less visible. 

Another factor in this is that, from the government and mainstream media, these kinds of developments are above all highlighted in a positive light.  Much-needed critical voices are immediately dismissed as "conspiracy thinkers". A large part of the population still tends to trust the authorities and therefore thinks that the dangers are not that serious. 


Do you see any way out if CBDCs do get imposed soon, through the banks or through the government?

At the moment, there are still ways out, but the further the roll-out of the CBDC progresses, the harder it will become to get out of it. To minimise the impact of the CBDC on your life, it is important to take action now to increase your own independence. 

Two aspects of this are important: finding an alternative means of payment which is separate from the government, and connecting with like-minded people and businesses in your area that you know you can trust when needed. 

To ensure that in the coming years, when the CBDC is implemented, you can continue to support yourself without depending on the terms of the CBDC, it is important to set up a parallel, local economy now. Currently, it is still relatively easy to set something like this up, but the further the CBDC and digital identity will become intertwined in everyday life, the more difficult it will become.


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