The case for Bitcoin becomes “significantly stronger” as the U.S. government’s work on a potential digital dollar picks up speed, indicating that a digital greenback may soon become a reality in the U.S.
Nigel Green, the CEO, and founder of deVere Group, one of the biggest independent financial advisory, asset management, and fintech firms in the world, made this assessment as Nellie Liang, the undersecretary of the U.S. Treasury Department for domestic finance, announced that the federal government will begin discussions on a Central Bank Digital Currency in the “coming months” (CBDC).
Ms. Liang mentioned some of the potential advantages of a Federal Reserve-backed digital currency in a speech she gave last week for the Atlantic Council. She noted that American officials are “actively evaluating whether a CBDC is in the national interest” and that it “could help preserve the dollar’s global role” as well as potentially lessen friction in cross-border transactions.
Nigel Green shared his thoughts with Finbold:
“This is the clearest sign yet that a digital U.S. dollar could soon become a reality, pending Congressional approval. With the world’s largest economy now ramping up efforts, the global race to CBDCs is now intensifying. It’s estimated that more than 80% of central banks around the world are considering launching a central bank digital currency or have already done so. It appears that the U.S. is now determined not to be left behind and is accelerating the project. It seems to have become a critical matter of global leadership, as China is the most economically powerful country to lead CBDC implementation.”
CBDCs’ advantages and disadvantages
Notably, advocates of CBDCs assert that digital payments can be processed more quickly than conventional cash or check payments, shortening transaction times and boosting business speed.
Additionally, transaction costs may be less expensive to process than conventional cash or check payments, which could result in cost savings for both consumers and businesses. For those who might not have access to traditional banking services, a digital system could increase their access to financial services. But Mr. Green added the following:
“Whilst CBDCs might have many advantages, including convenience, efficiency, and transparency, what they do not have is privacy. In effect, the digital dollar is Big Brother-style surveillance technology. These state-backed, programmable digital currencies will provide governments with greater oversight of citizens’ transactions in real-time, potentially leading to the collection of sensitive personal information.”
The CEO of the deVere Group claims that this may contain details about people’s financial transactions, earnings, and spending patterns. Mr. Green claims that Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies will gain popularity because “it’s an extra lever of control that they’ve never had before.” He reiterates this claim.
A growing number of voices in opposition
Despite the U.S. Treasury appearing to be getting ready to introduce a digital dollar, there are increasing numbers of people who are opposed to it.
To prevent the Federal Reserve from releasing a central bank digital currency, Representative Tom Emmer has introduced legislation in the House of Representatives. The “CBDC Anti-Surveillance State Act,” which Emmer confirmed he had introduced last month in order to defend Americans’ right to financial privacy, was introduced, he said.
The legislation, according to the legislator, would forbid the Fed from issuing a digital dollar “directly to anyone,” forbid the central bank from enacting monetary policy based on a CBDC, and demand transparency for actions involving a digital dollar.
Nigel Green concluded:
“The U.S. joining the CBDC race more fully underscores that digital is inevitably the future of money. It’s increasingly clear that in the not-too-distant future, we will have a multi-faceted system of currencies, including fiat, CBDCs, and crypto.”
Overall, the deVere CEO labels CBDCs as “unattractive” due to privacy and government monitoring concerns and urges “sensible, informed public conversation” on the matter.