“To Counterfeit is DEATH.”
Over the years, those words were stamped on thousands of currency bills within the ink-stained walls of a small printing shop in Philadelphia.
The shop was owned by John Dunlap—an Irish immigrant who migrated to the United States with his parents very early in life. By the age of ten, John went to work under the tutelage of his uncle William, in a shop he would eventually go on to purchase. And it was in that very shop, where John would become the first man to print one of the most famous documents to ever exist.
On the 4th of July 1776, a handwritten copy of the U.S. Declaration of Independence—possibly the personal rough draft of Thomas Jefferson—was delivered to Dunlap’s shop, with orders to spur his printing presses into action.
By morning, dozens of broadside copies of one of history’s most important proclamations were being whisked to Continental commanders throughout the colonies, including into the hands of George Washington himself.
With a single night of work, Dunlap had imprinted the document, and himself, firmly within the annals of history.
However, it was the later printing of money where Dunlap’s work would find its way into the hands of thousands of normal citizens.
Throughout the following years, Dunlap was contracted by Benjamin Franklin and others to be an official producer of legal notes of exchange. And it was on each bill of paper money Dunlap produced that was required to carry those four brutal words.
“To Counterfeit is DEATH.”
Although the death penalty may seem harsh for financial forgery, the newly formed United States government felt it was a warranted one. The theory was that anyone who had the skills and desire to forge the nation’s money was a threat to the state, and thus had to be swiftly eliminated.
In short, the power of death itself could be wielded against a person if they dared interfere with the U.S. government’s control over the money supply.
Eventually, the United States of America would go on to replace the fear-inducing words on its money with the much more pious “In God We Trust.” A message that still remains today.
But what also remains, is the desire of governments to control our means of exchange at all costs.
If you’ve stayed in the loop with global financial news, you’ve likely been seeing four words (or the letters that abbreviate them) being written about a lot lately. Those words are Central Bank Digital Currency, otherwise known as CBDC.
In case you haven’t heard about this yet, I’ll spare you the full details, simply because I’ve covered the topic of CBDCs in multiple newsletters in the past. But in short, a CBDC is a digital form of money like cryptocurrency. The big difference, however, is that a CBDC would not be decentralised, would be issued by your nation’s central bank, and completely controlled by your government.
So, if I’ve spoken about CBDCs before, why would I be doing it again? Well, quite simply because the amount of global chatter around this topic is steeply increasing.
Right now, it’s estimated that the governments of over 90% of all nations on Earth are either in the testing, research, or implementation phase of bringing a CBDC to life. And much like a financial Frankenstein’s monster, once this type of money becomes awakened and put into mass adoption, there’s very little we as individuals will be able to do to stop it.
Of course, there are many reasons the powers-that-be are telling us that a CBDC would be great. The words “safety” and “security” are most oft parroted by world leaders, and the narrative constantly focuses on how a CBDC is a way to create a nationalised form of cryptocurrency that’s considered to be legal.
But the thing is, existing cryptocurrencies are already considered to be legal assets by most world governments. In Australia, the UK, and the United States, for example, one is obliged to report any holdings they may have to their tax authorities at tax time each year.
To further illustrate this, only a few months ago I was required to report my own company’s crypto assets to the Icelandic government. If I had chosen not to do so, I would have been breaking the law.
This is the case basically everywhere on Earth. No matter whether it’s some crypto, a stock portfolio, or a pile of cash, if you hide it from your government, you’re doing something illegal. In short, the excuse that a government wants to create “legal” crypto is nothing more than a convenient sleight of hand.
Instead, I believe the real reason they want to bring in CBDC is for absolute control.
The simple fact is, governments don’t like us having access to a form of money that rests firmly within the hands of the people. Something they can’t wantonly inflate, deflate, or print at will. However, when it comes to a CBDC, your government would have much more power over your money than just that.
The most chilling word attached to a CBDC is the word programmable. It’s the idea that just like a piece of software, your government would be able to program whatever rules it likes into your money, whenever it likes.
Is your nation’s economy struggling? Well, they could just program your savings to expire in the next 30 days to force you to go out and spend it, to keep money flowing throughout the system. Or have they printed too much cash because of an economic crisis? No problem; they could hypothetically just make 20% of everyone’s cash vanish overnight to solve the issue they created in the first place.
And there’s more.
With a CBDC, a government could hypothetically block your ability to buy petrol for your car if you’ve travelled too many kilometres in a month, or stop you from buying meat if they wanted to crack down on your carbon emissions. Scenarios that are increasingly more likely, as we become ever more obsessed with our CO2 output.
But to me, that’s not the worst of it.
The worst part of a CBDC is what we’ve already seen happen in China. Those who have spoken ill about the CCP on social media have found their ability to buy train tickets, plane flights, and even luxury goods blocked. And this only raises questions about how far a government could go once this type of programmable currency becomes standard fare.
Don’t think this could happen in the west? Think again.
In Canada, we already saw Herr Trudeau freeze the bank accounts of peacefully protesting citizens, all because he didn’t like them revolting against his draconian measures on health and public safety. And in Italy, the city of Bologna is already discussing a social credit system, that would see people rewarded (or possibly penalised) for taking wrong, but not illegal, actions in the city, that could be linked to a CBDC.
In short, it’s only a matter of time.
With a CBDC, your food, clothing, travel, carbon, savings, spending choices and more could all be controlled, limited, or blocked at the push of a button. Everything you need to survive could be given, or taken away at will, by your government.
The very power of life and death itself.
The early United States government believed forgery was such a dire threat that to take part in it warranted the death penalty. And modern governments believe a currency controlled by the people is so menacing, that the solution is to create something with the ability to control every single aspect of your life.
So let me ask you this: what’s the bigger threat, and to whom?
To me, it is blindingly obvious that a CBDC poses a bigger threat to our freedoms, than crypto does to our society as a whole.
But that’s certainly not how they’ll frame the story.
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