Banks, financial institutions, and governments have been pushing for years to convert cash to digital money. The “War on Cash” just keeps grinding on. Not surprisingly, a number of its proponents found a way to bring it up in discussion with Congress as part of the COVID-19 stimulus plan. While it didn’t make it into the final legislation, it goes to show just how much of a priority this has become at the highest levels of power.
Taking away cash and moving fiat currency online is something that appeals to the powers that be in the financial world because it allows them even more control over the financial system. The financial mess we’re in, brought on by the global pandemic, highlights these powers’ need for more control.
It’s no coincidence that last week the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) announced that Visa, one of the largest financial institutions in the world, had filed a patent on using blockchain technology to convert physical currency into digital dollars, pounds, yen, and euros.
The Visa Patent Marks the Beginning of the End of Private Financial Ownership
According to the USPTO and reporting by Forbes, the patent “is described as a central entity computer that receives requests that include the serial number and denomination of a physical currency. The creation of the digital currency and the removal of the physical currency from circulation in a fiat currency system is recorded on a blockchain.” Note that the patent was filed six months before the actual announcement.
Here’s something to understand: Visa’s move is a major step towards financial institutions and central banks seizing total control over all money. No, it’s not just about creating efficiency and greater convenience in the banking system. Make no mistake, the digitization of cash is about one thing: control. And once this happens, it will spell major problems for anyone not aligned with the keepers of the currency.
The Issues with Digital Currency
There are multiple problems with switching from physical to digital currency. Many of these issues seem like they are directly opposed to what our Forefathers had in mind when setting up the government.
On the governmental and institutional level, digital currency will create a situation where we no longer have sole control over our money. The blockchain situation, as described in Visa’s request for a patent, involves a “central entity computer” that will record all the money that comes in, make a digital record of it, and remove the physical tender from circulation.
This means that, no matter what your computer or phone says about how much money you have, the holder of the record of that money is a “central entity computer” that is fully controlled by a government, central bank, or maybe even a corporation. This record of every cent that everyone has means that there are no more all-cash transactions, every transaction you make or every dollar you hold can be subject to corporate fees or taxation. Your cash is subject to an algorithmic process and, by default, the institution(s) who own and manage it.
Also, this blockchain will record every time a piece of currency changes hands for any reason. There will be no more anonymity as to how we spend our money. Everything we buy, invest in, or do with our money will be monitored by the keeper of the computer. Data on your spending habits will be watched, recorded, and made subject to potential “evaluation” (either as data to be sold or as a means for the government to monitor your every transactional move).
All these issues are just the problems that arise in relation to corporations and the government controlling our money. But what’s worse is that it doesn’t even begin to describe all the possible issues that may come with having no physical manifestation of our money.
Once all money is transferred to a computer, it leaves the whole system open to an incredible amount of vulnerabilities. The money can be stolen by hackers who always seem to be one step ahead of the government, or it could even be accidentally wiped out by human or technological error. Remember, there is no perfect “machine,” no matter how accurate or efficient it can be. The worst-case scenario is that of a major disaster or terrorist attack. If either of these situations wiped out our electronic infrastructure, no one would be able to access all our new, digital currency.
Beware Systems Claiming to “Decentralize” Money Using a Centralized System
The blockchain is supposed to be a decentralized system--there’s no “one place” where transactional data is stored, hence it’s decentralized. But the blockchain itself is a single class of technology that, in the case of cash, removes the one critical thing that every citizen has a right to: private ownership. Hence, it is highly centralized in that it clearly imposes institutional limitations (and functional ownership) over private funds.
We’re not big fans of fiat currency, but it does serve practical purposes. But when it comes to a “store of value,” the best “currency” to own is that which retains its value while steering clear of institutional ownership. And that’s where physical gold and silver stand unrivaled, as a safe haven, as privately-owned assets, and as sound money.