CBDC Anti-Surveillance State Act Bill and its implication (hopium?) for Bitcoin


Minnesota Congressman Tom Emmer announced on Twitter that he and a few others are going to introduce a bill that would in his words aim to do the following three things:

  1. Prohibit the Fed from issuing a CBDC directly to anyone.
  2. Bar the Fed from using a CBDC to implement monetary policy and control the economy.
  3. Require the Fed's CBDC projects to be transparent to Congress and the American people.

The discussion and trajectory around this bill is going to be a historic event for our financial and political infrastructure not just in the US but across the world for decades to come. Expressing the importance for privacy, he states that "any digital version of the dollar must uphold our American values of privacy, individual sovereignty, and free market competitiveness. Anything less opens the door to the development of a dangerous surveillance tool."

From the view I have of the US government, I would be very surprised and thrilled if any version of this bill passes let alone in its current form. Many powerful governments around the world including UK, India and China have already started piloting their in-house CBDCs and are on path for rampant scaling.

CBDCs could potentially be the strongest tool any government has EVER had at its disposal in the history of humanity and this will have shattering implications for all aspects of our lives. The current state of the financial infrastructure is already such that every transaction of ours is monitored in the name of anti-money laundering and tax evasion laws. Should we let them look at all of what we do with our money just because some people out there could be laundering money, evading taxes or performing some illicit activities? Those involved in such activities are already a step ahead and this is also why these people have embraced bitcoin earlier than other segments of population. Despite their illegitimate reasons, the 3 key features for which these shady guys have embraced bitcoin way ahead of the general population are noteworthy - transactions without a central authority/intermediary, decentralization based on cryptographic proof instead of trust and non-kyc/anonymous wallets that preserve privacy.

Governments and private banking institutions have already been monitoring our financial lives and all other aspects that associate with it for almost half a century now and have a dataset whose richness and usefulness has been improving dramatically with the advancement of web and technology over the last few years. I'm scared about the possibility of how much this is likely going to improve over the next decade. Unless we actively choose to not be a part of this system and make efforts to tackle and discourage the existing financial and web infrastructure centered around monitoring, our privacy is going to be lost forever.

CBDCs would be the last nail in the coffin that we should anyhow avoid and the most prominent way we can do this is by adopting bitcoin not just for the big gains but for the values it embraces with a privatised and predetermined monetary policy that is neutral in its intent by code for a cherry on top. Not just monitoring, it is really important that we disempower the government for controlling the value (money) that we spend all our lives to create. They print it out of thin air and devalue it even with other means at their whims to suit their budget and economic interests. We are in a debt bubble whose existence is primarily only because of the nature of money in its current form. Governments have debt that are multiples of their nation's GDP and corporations largely function on and expand with debt while I'm not able to loan out a year equivalent of my earnings while all of our money is lend out to them atleast 4 times over. How and why are we okay with this? Prices keep rising because of the current monetary, debt and growth environment and we have to keep working harder just so we can sustain our standard of living? Real median income of middle class households have been on a decline while the average per capita has been growing. To me, that is nowhere close to an ideal economic, social and political state and far on the other end of the spectrum. We're doing poorly on all these fronts.

Bitcoin is truly the revolution we need because it disempowers monetary shenanigans, debt growth and government control. We employ the government (atleast in a democracy) and need to keep them out of our business and ask them to focus on what we as a society want them to do.

Governments have enough money from the taxes they collect, money they print and other magic monetary and fiscal tools they have at their disposal. At the very least, we need to cut out the monitoring for which they have no good reason other than to empower themselves and have us as slaves to their intent. Bitcoin gives us a chance to do this along with a whip on other overreaches that governments have over economic and social structures as well as our personal lives.

I'm writing my thoughts down with the hope that we as a community can initiate a serious discussion around the bill tabled, overreaches of the government and the importance of bitcoin so that it's not just the Congress whose intent controls the narrative. Or atleast so that we're clear of the differences and know the areas we need to work on to get the government to do what we expect of them.

Governments have already succeeded so far in their fight against bitcoin especially with the way they've got Centralized exchanges to dominate the ecosystem and comply with anti-money laundering laws. I've got thoughts about this I'd like to discuss which I'm keeping for another post so that this one doesn't end up being a soup. Hoping to create a series of posts discussing the developments from the bill tabled and other thoughts I have about the relevant issues.

I really hope bitcoin comes out on the winning side a few years/decade down the line and that would only happen if all of us already involved with crypto take up a discussion and talk about the merits with our friends and family. As much as this sub discourages crypto talk in real life, that is the only way we can move foward. Bitcoin is in such a speculative phase that most of its merits are overshadowed in the social narrative by its volatility and hopes for gains/get rich quick scheme. I think all of us need to take responsibility to change that narrative and make efforts to talk about other aspects of bitcoin with friends and family as much as that comes with the shame/guilt of being deep in the red.

Long bitcoin, short the bankers and government-controlled magic money.