US presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr is warning of the dangers of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) amid the Federal Reserve’s plans to roll out an instant payment system known as FedNow.
Kennedy says that the “digitization of currency” has provided the government immense powers to “surveil and control economic life.”
Consequently, the US presidential contender who announced his candidature on the Democratic Party ticket last month says that he is against CBDCs though he supports Bitcoin (BTC).
“The ability to save and spend without political interference is a prerequisite for the exercise of meaningful dissent, and I will defend it accordingly. This is not a right- or left-wing issue. It is about protecting democracy from powerful established interests. The digitization of currency has given government unprecedented powers to surveil and control economic life.
That is why I oppose CBDCs, which will vastly magnify the government’s power to suffocate dissent by cutting off access to funds with a keystroke.
That’s also why I support Bitcoin, which allows people to conduct transactions free from government interference. Bitcoin has been a lifesaver for people’s movements around the world, especially in Burma.”
According to Kennedy, “financial censorship” can occur in the US too despite the practice being commonly associated with authoritarian regimes.
“It’s not outlandish to imagine that even here in America, your bank account could one day be frozen because of your politics, or comments you’ve made on social media.
After all, in 2010, Paypal, Visa, and Mastercard suspended WikiLeaks, at the behest of the U.S. State Department.
GoFundMe blocked US accounts from sending funds to Canadian truckers and planned to donate the money to their own preferred charities instead, backing down only when faced with a lawsuit.
PayPal modified their acceptable use policy to fine users $2,500 for spreading what they deemed to be misinformation, a change they rescinded under pressure. Nonetheless, thousands of customers are currently suing PayPal for the arbitrary seizure of their accounts.
These are the decisions of private companies, but often those private companies are acting out of fear of Congress or regulators, or directly at their bidding. Their decisions impinge directly on our rights.”
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