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Get Ready for the Next Game-Changer: the Digital Yuan

Get Ready for the Next Game-Changer: the Digital Yuan

A new, radical paradigm shift is in progress. The U.S. economy may shrink as much as 40% in the first semester of 2020. China, already the world’s largest economy by PPP for a few years now, may soon become the world’s largest economy even in exchange rate terms.

The post-Planet Lockdown world – still a hazy mirage – may well need a post-Planet Lockdown currency. And that’s where a serious candidate steps into the fray: the fiat digital yuan.

Last month, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) confirmed that a group of top banks started trials in electronic payment in four different Chinese regions using the new digital yuan. Yet there’s no timetable yet for the official launch of what is called the Digital Currency Electronic Payment (DCEP).

The man with the plan is PBOC governor Yi Gang. He has confirmed that apart from the trials in Suzhou, Xiong’an, Chengdu and Shenzhen, the PBOC is also testing hypothetical scenarios for the 2022 Winter Olympics.

While DCEP, according to Yi, “has made very good progress,” he insists the PBOC will be “cautious in terms of risk control, especially to study anti money-laundering and ‘know your customer’ requirements to incorporate in the design and system of DCEP.”

DCEP should be interpreted as the road map for China leading to an eventual, even more groundbreaking replacement of the U.S. dollar as the world’s reserve currency. China is already ahead in the digital currency sweepstakes: the sooner DCEP is launched the better to convince the world, especially the Global South, to tag along.

The PBOC is developing the system with four top state-owned banks as well as payment behemoths Tencent and Ant Financial.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

COVID-19 and the War on Cash: What Is Behind the Push for a Cashless Society? [SHORT]

COVID-19 and the War on Cash: What Is Behind the Push for a Cashless Society? [SHORT]

Cash may well become a casualty of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As these COVID-19 lockdowns drag out, more and more individuals and businesses are going cashless (for convenience and in a so-called effort to avoid spreading coronavirus germs), engaging in online commerce or using digital forms of currency (bank cards, digital wallets, etc.). As a result, physical cash is no longer king.

Yet there are other, more devious, reasons for this re-engineering of society away from physical cash: a cashless society—easily monitored, controlled, manipulated, weaponized and locked down—would play right into the hands of the government (and its corporate partners).

To this end, the government and its corporate partners-in-crime have been waging a subtle war on cash for some time now.

What is this war on cash?

It’s a concerted campaign to shift consumers towards a digital mode of commerce that can easily be monitored, tracked, tabulated, mined for data, hacked, hijacked and confiscated when convenient.

According to economist Steve Forbes, “The real reason for this war on cash—start with the big bills and then work your way down—is an ugly power grab by Big Government. People will have less privacy: Electronic commerce makes it easier for Big Brother to see what we’re doing, thereby making it simpler to bar activities it doesn’t like, such as purchasing salt, sugar, big bottles of soda and Big Macs.”

Much like the war on drugs and the war on terror, this so-called “war on cash” is being sold to the public as a means of fighting terrorists, drug dealers, tax evaders and now COVID-19 germs.

Digital currency provides the government and its corporate partners with the ultimate method to track, control you and punish you.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

China’s Central Bank to Lead Real-World Pilot of Digital Yuan: Report

China’s Central Bank to Lead Real-World Pilot of Digital Yuan: Report

China’s Central Bank to Lead Real-World Pilot of Digital Yuan: Report

China is at last planning to conduct the first real-world test of its central bank digital currency (CBDC), fresh reports claim. 

According to local news outlet Caijing on Dec. 9, the initial pilot for the CBDC is set for the city of Shenzhen before the end of 2019, and may possibly include the city of Suzhou. 

Banks in a digital currency “horse race” 

Under the auspices of China’s central bank, the People’s Bank of China (PBoC), four major banks and major economic participants such as China Telecom will test digital currency payments. 

“One step will be to rationally select the pilot verification area, scenario and service scope, and steadily promote the introduction and application of digital form of fiat currency,” Caijing explains.The article continues:

“Compared with the previous pilot, this time the central bank’s legal digital currency pilot will go out of the central bank system and enter real service scenarios such as transportation, education, and medical treatment, reaching C-end users and generating frequent applications.”

In Shenzhen, the PBoC is encouraging what it describes as a “horse race” — each bank will manage the digital currency differently, competing against each other in order to secure its model’s wider adoption in the future.

It added that other locales could be included in the testing, but the exact details remain unspecified. 

PBoC beats world competition

The debut will nonetheless make the PBoC the world’s first central bank to issue a digital currency, capitalizing on China’s efforts to embrace financial technology this year. 

As Cointelegraph reported, the currency itself has been under development for several years, and was already at an advanced stage when Beijing officially endorsed the use of blockchaintechnology in October.

Criticism of the CBDC plans meanwhile continues, with analysis noting interoperability as a potential major sticking point in the plans. 

Last week, Cointelegraph launched a dedicated subsidiary publication, Cointelegraph China, to cover developments in the Chinese space. 

BIS General Manager Outlines Vision for Central Bank Digital Currencies

BIS General Manager Outlines Vision for Central Bank Digital Currencies

The behaviour of central bankers is rarely (if ever) given sustained coverage in the national press. Outside of prominent economic channels, developments from within institutions such as the International Monetary Fund and the Bank for International Settlements are seldom remarked upon. Instead, attention is restricted to the latest round of political theatrics which serve to disguise the actions and intentions of globalist planners.

As the furore of Brexit gained in intensity last month, BIS General Manager Agustin Carstens gave a speech at the Central Bank of Ireland 2019 Whitaker Lecture. Under the heading, ‘The future of money and payments‘, Carstens mapped out what has been a long standing vision of globalists – namely, to acquire full spectrum control of the international financial system through the gradual abolition of what Bank of England governor Mark Carney has called ‘tangible assets‘ i.e. physical money.

The ‘future of money‘ narrative is one that both the BIS and the IMF have been actively promoting since the advent of Brexit and Donald Trump’s presidency. Here are some links to speeches made by both Christine Lagarde and Agustin Carstens:

Central Banking and Fintech—A Brave New World?

Winds of Change: The Case for New Digital Currency

Money and payment systems in the digital age

Money in the digital age: what role for central banks?

Central to the vision for a fully digitised global economy is the intent to reform national payment systems. The UK uses the Real-time gross settlement (RTGS) system, which the majority of payments in Britain are facilitated through. The Bank of England’s Victoria Cleland has emphasised on numerous occasions that the ‘fundamental renewal‘ of the system is being carried out through choice rather than necessity. This would indicate that RTGS works fine in its current manifestation, but the BOE (along with the European Central Bank) have been tasked with assuming more control over their respective payment systems.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Crossing Borders with Gold and Silver Coins

Crossing Borders with Gold and Silver Coins

It’s well-known that you have to make a declaration if you physically transport $10,000 or more in cash or monetary instruments in or out of the US, or almost any other country; governments collude on these things, often informally.

Gold has always been in something of a twilight zone in that regard. It’s no longer officially considered money. So it’s usually regarded as just a commodity, like copper, lead, or zinc, for these purposes. The one-ounce Canadian Maple Leaf and US Eagle both say they’re worth $50 of currency.

But I’ve had some disturbing experiences over the past couple of years crossing borders with coins. Of course, crossing any national border is potentially disturbing at any time. You might find yourself interrogated, strip searched, or detained for any reason or no reason. But I suspect what happened to me crossing a few borders in recent times could be a straw in the wind.

I’ve gradually accumulated about a dozen one-ounce silver rounds in my briefcase, some souvenirs issued by mining companies, plus others from Canada, Australia, China, and the US. But when I left Chile not long ago, the person monitoring the X-ray machine stopped me and insisted I take them out and show them to her. This had never happened before, but I wrote it off to chance. Then, when I was leaving Argentina a few weeks later, the same thing happened. What was really unusual was that the inspector looked at them, took them back to his supervisor, and then asked if I had any gold coins. I didn’t, he smiled, and I went on.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Relentless Totalitarianism Toward What End? Depopulation and Global Rule

Relentless Totalitarianism Toward What End? Depopulation and Global Rule

We’re going to open up this article with a summary of some things that have happened just in the past week, with sources attributed where applicable or necessary:

As of November 23, 2018, it was reported in an article by Guns in the News entitled “Red-Flag laws only lead to gun confiscation,” that 46 gun grabs by red-flag laws have occurred in Oregon, and another 36 in Maryland with 114 requests for the grabs being filed in the courts in the latter state.

The New York Times’ Liz Alderman reported on 11/21/18 that 4,000+ Swedes have accepted microchips to eliminate the use of cash (erroneously believing the desire to do so is theirs). The article is entitled Sweden’s Push to Get Rid of Cash Has Some Saying, ‘Not So Fast’.Later on, the article mentions Christine Lagarde, the woman who heads the IMF (International Monetary Fund) as stating that digital currency needs to be investigated further. If she is involved in it, and the IMF? You had better run for cover. Half of Sweden’s banks no longer accept cash deposits, and the article leads off with a photo of a couple of “soy boys” (Ragnar Lodbruk must be turning over in his grave) in a cafe that accepts no cash.

An article by Strange Sounds from 11/20/18 is entitled Is the government concealing California’s wildfire death toll? The depth to this one comes not only in the form of potentially-concealed numbers, but in this excerpt, with the “kicker” parts emboldened:

According to our sources, an anonymous White House official and a pair of California firefighters, the Trump administration and CAL Fire are acting in collusion, underreporting a catastrophic death toll because “they don’t want people to freak out and panic,” said our White House source. He said CAL Fire has found the charred remains of 480 people, and that number increases hourly.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Sweden Is on the Verge of Going Completely Cashless: What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

Sweden Is on the Verge of Going Completely Cashless: What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

Sweden is rapidly turning into a cashless society, which seems like the utopian dream of many a government figure. What could possibly go wrong from the government’s point of view? Isn’t it ideal that they could soon digitally control every single person in the country?

Actually, quite a few things are going wrong. So much so that even members of the government are expressing concern.

Sweden is the most cashless society in the world

The change is happening fast in the European country.

“No cash accepted” signs are becoming an increasingly common sight in shops and eateries across Sweden as payments go digital and mobile…

…Sweden is widely regarded as the most cashless society on the planet. Most of the country’s bank branches have stopped handling cash; many shops, museums and restaurants now only accept plastic or mobile payments…

…Last year, the amount of cash in circulation in Sweden dropped to the lowest level since 1990 and is more than 40 per cent below its 2007 peak. The declines in 2016 and 2017 were the biggest on record…

…An annual survey by Insight Intelligence released last month found that only 25 per cent of Swedes paid in cash at least once a week in 2017, down from 63 per cent just four years ago. A full 36 per cent never use cash, or just pay with it once or twice a year. (source)

Cash is used so infrequently that the government of the country has demonstrated concern. And this isn’t just in the big cities. A source in rural Sweden tells me that even in his remote area, the push to go cashless is omnipresent.

What could possibly go wrong?

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

From the Moneyness Blog: Electronic Money Will Only Save Central Banks From Subjugation if it is Anonymous

50 SEK banknote issued by the Riksbank in 1960

“Do we need an eKrona?” asks Stefan Ingves, the Governor of the Riksbank, Sweden’s central bank. The Riksbank is probably the central bank that has advanced the furthest in discussions surrounding the introduction of a central bank-issued digital currency (CBDC)—a new form of risk-free digital money for use by the public. CanadaNew ZealandAustraliathe ECB, and China are also dissecting the idea, with more central banks to come in 2018.

Sweden is approaching the issue from a unique angle, says Ingves. It is the only country in the world showing a consistent decline in cash and coin usage. I’ve written about this interesting pattern herehere, and here. Below is a chart:

Ingves floats two theories. Either the Swedish public no longer wants central bank money, or alternatively they do want central bank money but not the type that is “made of pieces of paper,” preferring instead an as-yet non-existent digital alternative. If so, then it may be the Riksbank’s duty to provide that alternative, says Ingves.

Duty is an admirable motivation, but let me propose another reason for why the Riksbank is exploring the idea of an eKrona—self preservation. I think Sweden’s central bank is terrified that it will become powerless in the future. It is desperately casting around for solutions to resuscitate itself, one of these being an eKrona. This fear is rooted in the fact that declining cash usage has led to a collapse in the resources that the Riksbank believes that it needs to function.

These worries about powerlessness are shared by central bankers around the world, many of whom expect advances in private payments technology to lead them to the same cash-light world that Sweden is currently entering.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The energy of Bitcoin, the information economy and the (possible) decentralization of the world

The energy of Bitcoin, the information economy and the (possible) decentralization of the world

The near vertical rise and fall in price of the cryptocurrency Bitcoin in recent months has been accompanied by reporting about the energy used to run the Bitcoin network. The amount is enormous, more than enough to supply the entire country of Ireland.

Many other cryptocurrencies operate under less energy-intensive designs. But the more than 1,000 other digital coins beyond Bitcoin certainly use a considerable amount of energy though there is no overall estimate I’m aware of. (For the technically minded, here is a discussion of two popular methods associated with validating transactions, one of which is considerably less energy-intensive.)

We’d like to think that the information economy of which these newfangled currencies are part bears lightly on the broader environment. But as I pointed out in my piece “The Unbearable Lightness of Information,” much of what happens in the information economy is simply focused on extracting more resources more quickly to create more goods and services for more customers. The physical economy isn’t disappearing. It is merely being exploited more completely using digital information.

And beyond this, “Every person who works in the so-called information sector of the economy must be housed, clothed, schooled, provided transportation, provisioned with household goods, given opportunities for entertainment and recreation, [and] supplied with a wide array of public services.”

Having said all this, I find one aspect of the blockchain technology behind the explosion in digital currencies to be promising. This technology offers a possible path for decentralizing banking and finance and myriad other Internet-related services we’ve come to rely on from big corporations.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Big Banks Are All Over Blockchain

Big Banks Are All Over Blockchain

To process derivatives, currency trades, transactions, etc. Just don’t call it cryptocurrency. It’s a “digital currency.”

As a general rule, most bankers disparage cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin, as anything but purely speculative instruments. But they don’t disparage blockchain, the technology that underpins cryptocurrencies. On the contrary. They’re pouring money into developing their own “digital currencies,” as they call them. Just don’t call them “cryptocurrencies.”

UBS, BNY Mellon, Deutsche Bank, Santander, the market operator ICAP, and the startup Clearmatics formed an alliance in 2016 to explore the use of digital currency between financial institutions and central banks, using blockchain.

The ultimate goal of the project is to create a digital currency known as Utility Settlement Coin (USC), which will facilitate payment and settlement for institutional financial markets. As the FT reported in October, commercial banks are growing tired of waiting for central bankers to take the lead in fending off the challenge that standalone cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin could pose to their control of monetary policy, and are pressing on with their own pet projects.

According to Deutsche Bank’s website, USC is “an asset-backed digital cash instrument implemented on distributed ledger technology for use within global institutional financial markets.” It consists of a “series of cash assets, with a version for each of the major currencies (USD, EUR, GBP, CHF, etc.) and is convertible at parity with a bank deposit in the corresponding currency.”

It’s easy to see the attraction blockchain holds for big banks like Deutsche, UBS and Santander: Combining shared databases and cryptography, the technology offers multiple parties simultaneous access to a constantly updated digital ledger that cannot be altered. With it, banks could offer a safer, faster, cheaper, more transparent service to their customers, while doing away with the need for a central operator.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

If You Don’t Own Any Bitcoin, Read This

If You Don’t Own Any Bitcoin, Read This

This week it hit $19,000. What’s next?

Wow. Just….wow.

Bitcoin’s price has gone ‘beyond exponential’ this week. Just yesterday, as I started working on this article, it shot up 22% — from $14,000 to $17,000 (hitting an intraday high of over $19,000).

And that’s after a mind-blowing upwards rocket ride over the past several months.

I think it’s safe to say that the vicious melt-up in price over such a short timeframe has surpassed the expectations of even the starriest-eyed Bitcoin fanboys.

The whole world, especially the 99.99% of us that own zero cryptocurrency, is asking: What happens next? And, What should I do?

Is this insane trajectory going to continue for a lot longer? Do I need to get in now to avoid missing this once-in-lifetime fortune-making opportunity?

Or is this a classic bubble blow-off top? Is this the deadliest time to enter, right before the price implodes?

An Expert’s Take

I had the chance to ask these questions Wednesday to a long-time veteran in the digital currency space. We met at a gathering of online media ‘mavens’; this guy has published news and analysis on cryptocurrencies since 2011, for both investors and developers. He knows the space exceedingly well.

Unsurprisingly, he holds a lot of Bitcoin. I didn’t ask directly how much; but knowing that he was covering the space back when Bitcoin traded in the single-dollars range, my conservative mental math quickly concluded he’s probably worth more than most people I’ve met in my life.

So here what I learned during my chat with him:

  • He thinks the current price action is “nuts”: To his veteran eye, the current frenzy is a speculative mania and will end in a massive sell-off, resulting in huge losses for those buying in at these prices. He’s watched Bitcoin long enough to have seen it experience several 70%+ corrections. In his mind, this will simply be the latest one. And there will be more in the future, he predicts.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Warning: ‘They Need The Markets To Implode’ To Usher In Cashless System

Warning: ‘They Need The Markets To Implode’ To Usher In Cashless System

stockmarketcrash

Market analyst Lynette Zang predicts in the next market meltdown, “real estate, stocks, and bonds will all crash.” When asked when this will happen, Zang says, “Enjoy your Christmas,” but in 2018, all bets are off.

Greg Hunter interviewed Lynette Zang, Chief Market Strategist at ITMtrading.com, and her assessment of the 2018 economy is dire.  Zang predicts, “In 2018, I don’t think they can hold these things together. I think we will see a major market correction in 2018. When that happens, that will cause the derivative implosion. We have to feel a lot of pain. . . . I think we are going to go into hyperinflation, and I think we will start to see that in 2018 because I think we will see these markets implode. I think we will see QE4 (money printing) for sure. . . . We have QE right now propping it up, according to the Fed’s own documents.”

Zang says ever since the 2008 meltdown, the elite have just been buying time to set up a debt reset.

“I am 100% certain we are in the middle of a money standard shift.  Ultimately, they need the markets to implode. . . . In 2008, the debt based system broke.  It died, it was done.  The central banks, globally, put it on life support, and they have to create a new system.  In my opinion, they want us cashless, and they want everything in digital form.  They want to dematerialize wealth at least for the masses.  I am 100% certain that this Bitcoin craze, and all of this, is about getting people used to digital currencies.  So, when they shift us from the debt based system to the digital system, we are more comfortable with it and more familiar with it.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Gold – The Best Defense Strategy

If you are used to making visits to your bank to make your credit card payments, you may find this no longer an option in the future. Some banks are no longer accepting (or limiting their acceptance) of cash deposits. The war on cash forges on. Paper money, which is indeed more or less worthless, is slowly being taken out of circulation and being replaced by digital currency.

Burning_Money

Photo credit: Stephen Krow

This shift presents of course the same fundamental problem as paper money itself: “digital money” is also not backed by gold or other precious metals or any asset representing real value. The whole concept of digitizing our transactions is being marketed as a convenience, a hassle-free payment method and a transparent, easy new way to smoothly run our lives and businesses, without the burden of carrying cash around.

However, the realistic flip side of this joyful argument is more ominous than we might at first realize: Now, account monitoring or freezing, and confiscations will be easier than ever. And of course, by eliminating cash, central banks are getting rid of the last existing barrier to negative interest rates.

The Global Economy is Stuck… Gold is on a Roll

In the first quarter of 2016, the gold price rallied by 14.3%, and in February alone, it jumped 9.6% – this was the highest single-month increase in four years. 2016 has so far not shown any positive changes on the economic front. Growth remains rather slow, much slower than projected by government authorities and the various mainstream market experts and gurus. So what has driven the demand for the precious metal? It goes back to the basics: Risk!

1--Gold, June futuresGold, June 2016 futures, daily – click to enlarge.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Greek Attempt To Force Use Of Electronic Money Instead Of Physical Cash Fails

Greek Attempt To Force Use Of Electronic Money Instead Of Physical Cash Fails

While the “developed world” is only now starting its aggressive push to slowly at first, then very fast ban the use of physical cash as the key gating factor to the global adoption of NIRP (by first eliminating high-denomination bills because they “aid terrorism and spread criminality”) one country has long been doing everything in its power to ween its population away from tax-evasive cash as a medium of payment, and into digital transactions: Greece.

The problem, however, is that it has failed.

According to Kathimerini, “Greek businesses are not ready for the expansion of plastic money through the compulsory use of credit and debit cards for everyday transactions.”

Unlike in the rest of the world where “the stick” approach will likely to be used, in Greece the government has been more gentle by adopting a “carrot” strategy (for now) when it comes to migrating from cash to digital. The government has told taxpayers that they will have to spend up to a certain amount of their incomes via bank and card transactions in order to qualify for an annual tax-free exemption. 

This appears to not be a sufficient incentive however, as a large proportion of stores still don’t have the card terminals, or PoS (Points of Sale), required for card payments, while plastic is accepted by very few doctors, plumbers, electricians, lawyers and others who tend to account for the lion’s share of tax evasion recorded in the country.

Almost as if the local population realizes that what the government is trying to do is to limit at first, then ultimately ban all cash transactions in the twice recently defaulted nation as well. It also realizes that an annual tax-free exemption means still paying taxes; taxes which could be avoided if one only transacted with cash.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

What Happens to Cash When Governments Go Electronic?

What Happens to Cash When Governments Go Electronic?

QUESTION: Mr. Armstrong; What happens to paper money when the government moves electronic? Is it just cancelled? Does cash then become worthless?

Thanks

RD

ANSWER: It appears that electronic currency will arrive first in Europe. The cash will be demonetized so yes, it becomes worthless. However, they will most likely give you a window in time to redeem cash for electronic money. Keep in mind this will produce a windfall for government. They are most likely going to tax anyone who cannot prove why they have the cash.

Trajan Restitution Gold Aureus - r

This is typical. It is also not a modern invention. The Roman Emperor Trajan (98-117AD) saw the treasury being depleted with the cost of his Dacian War. The brilliant idea was to DEMONETIZE all older coinage prior to Nero’s reform 64AD. What they were doing was declaring the old coinage to be invalid for paying taxes. As a result, you had to turn it in under the pretense it was worn. In truth, he reissued coins with 10% less silver content. So he was taking in the old, melting it down, and thereby increased the money supply by 10%. This was the Great Restitution Issue of Trajan. Politics never changes. The same responses can be cataloged into a book – perhaps I will do that in my next life since I already have a lot on my plate for this one.

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