Americans are worried that a U.S. Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) could end up compromising essential freedoms, further centralizing monetary policy, and making the country’s currency vulnerable to hacking, according to a recently published Fed survey.
In January last year, the Fed published a white paper on what a CBDC could look like. It asked for public comments on issues like potential risks and benefits a CBDC can have on the country. On April 20, the Fed released the responses in nine documents. Here are some of the various answers and concerns expressed by respondents, some of whom were named, others who were unnamed, as well as those whose names were redacted.
A student from Texas pointed to the breach of privacy, government overreach, and hacking as risks posed by CBDC. “With this digital currency, the government would be able to usurp freedoms without the knowledge/consent of the public.
“The best e-hackers and cybersecurity personnel don’t work for the government. They work in the private sector. It is naive to think, given the government’s track record, that it could ever be trusted to secure such an asset.” A CBDC might also trigger a “run on financial institutions,” the individual warned.
Andrew W. from Virginia warned that centralization of monetary policies can “easily be abused and cause unintended disruption.” CBDCs can further centralize monetary policies and “only increases the risk potential.”
Hollie Bishop from Indiana cited public mistrust as her number one concern about central bank digital currencies. “People are afraid of being constantly monitored. Also, our aging and elderly population pay bills in cash and may not know how to use this system, leaving them susceptible to hunger, bills not being paid, etc.”
Power Issues, Quantum Computing Hack
Lucas Vincent from Arizona warned that power consumption is a major issue. “The power consumption that provides the means of creating said digital currency, which has caused power outages in places like Kazakhstan and even New York, is an enormous risk that puts Earth at stake because of the environmental damage that digital currency mining causes,” he said.