How the Digital Currency Agenda has Grown Amidst Resurgent ‘Nationalism’ – Part Three

In my most recent articles I compiled a series of communications that have emanated from central banks and global institutions since 2015 on the subject of digital currencies.

As was demonstrated, prior to the EU referendum and Donald Trump becoming U.S. President, the narrative was starting to develop on how the technology behind virtual money could be of benefit to globalists. Worryingly, it has gained in prominence since both the Brexit process and Trump’s ascension to power became a reality.

After publishing my last post (How the Digital Currency Agenda has Grown Amidst Resurgent ‘Nationalism’ – Part Two) I came across several more strands of information that serve to show how the agenda to abolish physical assets could be achieved.

The first is a white paper produced by the World Economic Forum in March 2019. The paper in question, ‘Central Banks and Distributed Ledger Technology: How are Central Banks Exploring Blockchain Today?‘, picked up on a survey published by the Bank for International Settlements in January that revealed how the majority of banks are engaged in active research programmes in regards to central bank digital currencies (CBDC’s). I gave an outline of this survey in part two of this series.

Building on from the BIS survey, the white paper detailed that out of nine central banks who have conducted blockchain / distributed ledger projects, just one – the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank – is not a member of the BIS. This is not especially surprising when you consider that the BIS have been actively questioning ‘the future of money‘ since 2016 and encouraging central banks to further their research on CBDC’s.

One of my particular areas of interest dating back to 2018 has been on the development of distributed ledger technology. The WEF’s white paper affirms its relevance by contemplating a future monetary system with CBDC’s at its heart. Ashley Lannquist, who is the Project Lead of Blockchain and DLT at the WEF, referred to CBDC’s as a ‘commonly proposed application of blockchain and DLT.’ Which is why, as Lannquist confirmed, it is an ‘active area of research and exploration‘ for central banks. Throughout the whole discussion on CBDC’s, uppermost in central bank commentary has been DLT.

What has become clearer to me is that without distributed ledger technology, the introduction of central bank digital currencies would not be achievable in the manner globalists are targeting. As it stands, the position of central banks continues to be that the technology is not sufficiently advanced enough to consider CBDC’s as a near term priority. But there is no doubt that they are getting closer. A ‘proof of concept‘ test conducted by the Bank of England in 2018, as part of their programme to renew the UK’s RTGS payment system, showed that private Fintech firms who specialise in DLT were able to connect their systems and achieve settlement in central bank money.

Whilst one form of DLT is a blockchain system (most famously attributed to Bitcoin), the white paper pointed out the difference between a ‘permissioned‘ blockchain and a ‘permissionless‘ blockchain. Permissioned indicates that ‘participants are limited and must be granted access to participate in the network and view the set of transactions.’ But permissionless blockchains such as Bitcoin ‘allow public participation and full transaction viewability.’

Based on the white paper and on what central bank officials are saying, permissioned blockchains are the favoured model. The likes of Bitcoin, which falls into the permissionless category, have been routinely chastised by central banks over the years for a lack of oversight and being a potential haven for money laundering and terrorist financing.

This is why elements of the independent media revere cryptocurrencies, because they are promoted as being part of a decentralised structure which central banks have no jurisdiction over. A common mistake made by alternative analysts, however, is to believe that the banking elite’s dislike for Bitcoin is systematic of their dislike for blockchain technology. This could not be further from the truth. A frequent refrain made by central bankers is that whilst from their perspective Bitcoin is ‘fake money‘, the technology underpinning it holds great promise. Their animosity towards cryptocurrencies in general is a facade, one which I believe helps to disguise their true intent.

The heightened interest in blockchain technology has developed in step with moves to create a ‘multi polar‘ new world order. Sadly this is not hyperbole. Central bank governors speak very openly about how this direction represents the future of global finance. What they attempt to convince people of at any given opportunity is that a new ‘multi polar‘ world would equate to a decentralised world. Their vision is consistently sold through this prism. It is an inversion of the truth. As I have spoken about before, central banks are not in the business of ceding power. The new world order they envisage advances, rather than depletes, their power base.

When institutions like the BIS and the IMF talk of how blockchain and DLT open up a pathway to a decentralised future, important to remember is that those very same technological advances would be regulated and presided over by the globalists who have built the fortified centralised structure in place today. In an IMF paper published last year (Considerations on the Role of the SDR), the institution posited that distributed ledger technology would help to ‘boost interconnectedness‘. And then there is Bank of England governor Mark Carney, who prior to the EU referendum suggested that limiting the distribution of a ledger to guard against data theft and cyber attack could be a way forward. This is before such a system even gets off the ground.

In short, the notion of a digital currency system being decentralised is a con. I believe that the cultivated narratives of populism and nationalism that have grown since 2016 assists the banking elite in being able to perpetuate the con.

Back in September 2016 Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann spoke about ‘the locomotive theory‘, which he described as perceiving crisis scenarios as less a threat and more an opportunity.

That is because, according to the locomotive theory, crises, first and foremost, open up the possibility of implementing those steps of integration that have not yet been taken. Accordingly, even now there is no lack of proposals that the appropriate response ‒ not only to the Brexit vote but also the euro-area financial and sovereign crisis ‒ should be even more integration.

Integration can come in many different forms, including the emergence of central bank digital currency. The practice of allowing a crisis of sufficient magnitude to play out is an avenue that globalists are well versed in. My belief is that they will use the economic fallout from Brexit (chiefly through the impact on currency markets) as an opportunity to call for monetary integration. One thing we can be certain of is that neither Brexit or Trump’s presidency are impediments to their objective of realising a global central bank digital currency system. Moves towards such a system have ballooned in the past three years rather than dissipated.

Early in 2018 BIS General Manager Agustin Carstens outlined four steps in how to reach agreement on reforms to the financial system following 2008. It is a model that could also be used for the implementation of CBDC’s. The first step is to gain a consensus at the international level, something which is easier to do during the slow burning aftermath of a crisis. The second step is to take this consensus and distribute it globally through national governments, which incorporates the legislative process. If successful, step three sees the implementation of this newly found consensus. Step four is where global institutions evaluate the reforms and seek adjustments where they are deemed necessary.

The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, which runs out of the BIS, was responsible for facilitating the post 2008 reforms known as Basel III. As I pointed out back in 2017, the G20 leaders were merely informed of what the committee had come up with and had no direct input into the negotiations. Instead, it was simply their job to implement the measures through their own jurisdiction. This serves as a good illustration of how national governments are largely a vassal of globalists.

In terms of CBDC’s, we have yet to enter the first of Carstens four stages. According to the World Economic Forum, central banks should make a definitive decision within the next four years on whether they intend to utilise blockchain and distributed ledger technology. This timeline makes sense given that the Bank of England and the Federal Reserve are targeting the introduction of new payment systems by the mid 2020s.

But there still remains – for now at least – a demand for physical money. Whilst the percentage of cash payments is falling, they have not declined to a level that would render cash obsolete in the near future. My own experience of working as a cash office clerk has provided me with an insight into how people in my neighbourhood use money. In the two and a half years working in this role, I have seen no discernible drop in either the demand for cash thorough ATM machines or through payment at the till.

Cash is still a prevalent part of the system. But the rise of Fintech, sponsored by the central banks, is a mortal threat. The loss of cash would mean the loss of anonymity, which is high amongst the objective of the banking elites.  If they are successful in this endeavour, they will want you and I to believe that the abolition of cash was a process of natural selection. A revolution led by consumer choice. What they do not want is for you and I to question the true origins for the replacement of cash with a digital only construct.

Here is a quote from Mark Carney pre EU referendum:

The wave of innovation sweeping through the world of financial technology promises nothing short of revolution. ‘FinTech’ heralds the dawn of narrow banking and portfolio optimisation. It will change the nature of money, shake the foundations of central banking and deliver nothing less than a democratic revolution for all who use financial services.

Revolutions are not always abrupt, and sometimes their origins remain obscure.

Far from being obscure, the origins of the digital currency ‘revolution‘ are patently clear. Unless people begin to reconnect with money as a tangible asset rather than seeing it solely as a technological mechanism to serve their convenience, central banks will have their way within the next decade.

Resurgent nationalism is just one of the vehicles they can exploit to help them get there.

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2 comments

  1. The truth hurts but better the truth and some sense of reality. This summary article is that truth. I have forwarded Steven’s work here to a number of activists in North America for their perusal and thought. Steven Guinness’ investigative reporting on the macro that will effect everything down to the mini micro is a must read for anyone who values human freedoms and self determination at all levels. Thank you very much Steven! Please take a bow.

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  2. After thanking you again for such a well focused article, I have to say I am almost overloaded by the volume of related information that it brings to mind. So I will try over the coming days to transfer my thoughts to writing and post them here.

    Broadly speaking, there is a very fine line between the notion that nationalism is being used by central planners as point of launch for a reactionary policy that favours globalisation, and the idea that there is a false nationalism or infiltrated nationalism being used to create that launching point.A very fine line, and one that fluctuates depending on wider definitions and sentiment. I do not doubt that there are simultaneous efforts at all levels to dominate, influence, denigrate or co-opt nationalist sentiment by globalist objectives.

    This in turn is a test to or strain on the meaning of nationalism, it is an unhappy and volatile boundary.

    You are very correct on the description regarding centralised attitudes towards crypto, and the ultimate aim. The “democratic finance” promised is a clear indication of there being a political facet to the project. The intersect between government and money has changed over time, the “standard definition” being hard money and taxation, where any debt (public or otherwise) is a margin or buffer. So money was private and not political in itself, taxation was transparent access to that (private) money via political (democratic) process. Debt/finance was not politicised except via taxation, that is to say government could take on public debt, but repayment was via taxation which had to pass political or democratic scrutiny. This was the process that kept fiscal order and self limited national centralisation of power.

    In the UK this changed early in the 19th century with the loss of the budget veto of the house of lords. Spending and debt became a directly social affair offered by parliament, hence more political and democratic, but also more susceptible to offering monetary solutions to the public in exchange for the vote. It could still be claimed it represented national will, it could not independently circumvent fiscal realities. That itself then changed with a transition to unbacked fiat, that took place incrementally, one “spending” or accounting crisis after another. The final result was a soft money that was essentially expandable at will via policy choice, therefore allowing government policy to be driven through without great fiscal concern, and this has brought us to NIRP in various countries. The handing of this ability to the combination of government and central bank allows or opens the way for government to tune policy to the financial world, it allows for surreal electoral promises to be made, for corruption to take form, for vast mispending and crony capitalism, for socialist policy to apparently hold a possible route, to employ vast bureacracy, and so on. In fact it is only a small step away from mmt and direct and open monetisation.

    Now, anyone can draw the line where they feel fit that describes the point that nationalism was abandoned, as it will depend on their own interpretation of what nationalism means. What there is no doubt of though is that somewhere along the way national integrity has been lost, whether globalised or socialised or whathaveyou-ised. Look at the path of other western countries and you will find the same.

    For the sake of staying on topic and away from politics, we will just call the international sum of this a globalisation, because the financial world interacts nowadays at a global scale. Yet still the money/political process remains in the hands of national government, corrupt or treasonous even maybe, but still bound ultimately to their own electorate and still with the responsibility of presenting national account, even if increasingly unbelievable.

    Once money becomes internationally merged and cashless, just as finance is increasingly globalised and monetary policy harmonised at the lower bound, and just as the authority of monetary policy would pass to being extra-territorial, it invites in a form of political command via foreign fiscal influence on national political decision making outside of democratic control or representation, ergo politics would be shaped by an agenda orientated around this outside hive of an establishment, where national elite direction would be to further impose if necessary.

    That I think is what Carney means by democratic finance, a person’s direct but traceable digital claim in the form of a new money that is founded on global financial activity, assets, or values. In other words the meaning of national wealth and policy would be transferred and transformed to a global financial model, where the trade off would be gradual centralised control of remaining national policy making ability, over time. This would not be accepted as presented, and so a gradualist or crisis imposed approach would be sought.

    So nationalism to my view, in its true definition, cannot be said to encourage this direction because it runs as antithesis to anything nation stands for, effectively representing a form of national dissolution in terms of disconnecting the public’s authority from political decision making, which would be subject to external financial control instead of as currently just limited by national possibility.

    Crypto on the other hand disconnects a person from the public sphere at financial level while still allowing them free political say at national level. It avoids certain national policy but does not as a whole cede it to another.

    I will continue with more thoughts on this when I have time.

    Thanks.

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