Your earnest contributor Spartacus has been contemplating and cogitating over the holidays, and he (or she?) is concerned. Very concerned. Concerned about how our beloved parliamentary and bureaucratic overlords will utilize technological evolution to further track and control the citizenry.
Consider for a moment the growth of crypto-currency and the coming deployment of driver-less cars.
In the case of crypto-currency, as can be seen already, there are calls from government and regulatory agencies for cyropo-currencies to be regulated so to “protect” investors. But who is really in need of the protection? Is it the investors or is it the state? Does an alternative means of exchange, a means in competition to state sponsored fiat currency really pose a threat?
What is the Government offering? Not just oppressive controls on who and how to buy, sell or hold crypto-currencies. What is on offer is a pathway to the elimination of cash, a pathway built upon damaging any competition to government issued currency.
Don’t believe Spartacus? Consider this.
On Australia day this year (that is 26 January and not 27 January for all the 3JJJ listeners), the New Payments Platform (NPP) will launch. As the name suggests, the NPP is a new payments system that will replace much of the current payment plumbing of the Australian economy. It will replace Bpay, direct credit, direct debit and some other such payments.
NPP’s key consumer proposition will be real time payments. For example, Spartacus can send a payment from his (or her?) CBA account to Lucius’ ANZ account and it will be there straight away. None of this overnight or over the weekend business.
And from where comes this system? It is build, owned and governed by the Australian banks. Check the membership of the board. It was also designed and built at the instruction of the Reserve Bank of Australia.
According to the RBA, cash payments are on the decline. Presumably they are hoping that the NPP will reduce that even further. And when that happens, you get to ATO, APRA and ASIO nirvana. Even more data on even more people showing what and where is spending. But wait. There’s more, and not steak knives.
Late last year, out gone ASIC chairmain Greg Medcraft said that central banks would issue their own fiat crypto-currencies within the next 5-10 years. One might imagine that Mr Medcraft was not average Joe, but rather an informed commentator, and he said:
With central-bank issued digital currencies, you might not need a bank account anymore
Hey. You won’t need cash either and probably won’t be allowed cash.
And why does government want to eliminate cash? Mostly it is about tracking citizens; initially for tax compliance reasons, but beyond that, let your imagination run wild. But it is also about enforcing negative interest rates – the absolute wet dream of the Keynesian profligate.
With cash, if interest rates go negative, citizens can just withdraw their funds and hide their cash under their beds. But with crypto fiat currency, there is nowhere to hide. That $100 you had in the bank is now $98. The difference was to fund the government’s latest investment scheme, the NSN (National Stadium Network), a scheme to demolish all current sporting stadia around Australia and build the education revolution with new school halls connected with fiber to the playing field hosting Gonski 5.0 classes where social justice will be taught.
No cash – no privacy – no freedom. Game over.
Spartacus will post part 2 of this rant (Government and self driving cars) in the next couple of days.
Follow I Am Spartacus on Twitter at @Ey_am_Spartacus