Posted by Richard Willett - Memes and headline comments by David Icke Posted on 18 June 2024

On the Edge of the Programmable Ledger: CBDCs

By J.R. Bruning

New Zealand’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ), has opened a consultation on central bank digital currencies (CBDCs). This is the second of four stages. RBNZ considers that Stage Three will involve the development of prototypes and will be completed between 2028-2029. Then, in around 2030, they ‘would introduce digital cash to Aotearoa New Zealand.’

The language the RBNZ uses, from the rhetoric around risk to the so-called benefits of CBDCs, mimics the language and concerns of the global banking, finance, and technology (Fintech) industry and management consultancy interests.

There doesn’t seem to be a role for Parliament to debate whether or not New Zealand’s central bank should even enter the retail currency market.

It seems that the financial markets regulator, the regulator of retail banks, presumes that it can grant itself powers to enter the very market it is supposed to regulate, the retail banking market.

New Zealand’s central bank is somewhat unusual in that it is charged with broader powers than most central banks. Following a major International Monetary Fund (IMF) review, the RBNZ experienced its greatest transformation process in forty years.

The RBNZ is not only responsible for monetary policy, the central bank is the financial markets regulator – responsible for oversight of the financial system and prudential regulation of banks, deposit-takers, and insurance companies. The RBNZ can now decide if a financial institution is too big to fail (systemically important). Recently, the RBNZ engaged in large-scale asset purchases, which resulted in billion-dollar losses and appeared to primarily benefit foreign-owned banks.

The impact of a too-big-to-fail (systemically important) central bank entering the retail environment? This is not the only problem.

Major risks revolve around the known interoperability of CBDCs and digital identity (ID) technologies and the programmability potential of CBDC payments. RBNZ may be downplaying the tech architecture’s potential, but their business partner Accenture underscores the fact that world-leading CBDC capability will maximise ‘synergies with other national digital initiatives, such as Digital ID, CDR 78 and Real Time Payments through inter-operability.’

Unlike bank digital currencies in your account today, central bank digital currencies are programmable. Self-executing applications called smart contracts enable payments to be programmed. These smart contracts can be combined, or bundled together on central bank ledgers, a capability known as composability. Smart contracts can be deployed remotely or directly, and third parties can issue directions using programmable three-party locks.

This is one thing in a consenting commercial environment. The same capabilities in a government declaring an emergency or crisis and demanding public compliance? What could go wrong?

Read More: On the Edge of the Programmable Ledger: CBDCs

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