Headline, December 23 2023/ ''' DIGITAL DOLLAR - DIGITAL EUROS* '''




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SKEPTICISM OF DIGITAL CURRENCY needs to be taken seriously. Central bankers are plowing ahead with the technology - but the potential for backlash is high.

The world's central banks are moving briskly, and it would seem inexorably, toward introducing digital forms of cash. But I think they are underestimating the backlash from people who worry that digital currencies issued by central banks will become instruments of government control over their lives.

Figures on both the left and right fear that a digital currency would replace paper money, giving the government a way to track people's spending and even control it - say, by making it impossible to buy certain things with digital currency.

In theory, a digital currency could be programmed to lose value - a form of negative interest - to get people to spend it quickly.

Those concerns have penetrated the public's thinking deeply enough to surface in the U.S. Republican presidential campaign. Central bank digital currencies will allow the government to ''prohibit 'undesirable' purchases like fuel and ammunition,''

Gov Ron DeSantis of Florida, one of the G.O.P. candidates, contended in July. Vivek Ramaswamy, a rival candidate, has made opposition to central bank digital currencies one of his signature issues.

It's unsettling that the first large nation to test a central bank digital currency on a wide scale is China, which surveils its own citizens.

Muchangchun, who leads the digital currency project of the People's Bank of China, wrote last year that it provides  ''anonymity for small amounts, traceability for large amounts in accordance with the law'' to prevent crime.

Concerns about Big Brotherism came up last week when I moderated a panel on the  ''digital euro'', that was hosted by the European American Chamber of Commerce New York.

The speakers argued that some of the fears are grounded in conspiracy theories. While that's true in some cases, it feels a little too dismissive.

A surprisingly small portion of the world's money is government issued. The money in your checking and saving accounts is an obligation of the bank where you have those accounts, not the government.

The only government-issued money that the general public can hold is physical cash and coin. [ When you take money out of an A.T.M., you're converting private money to public money .] The reserves that banks hold to transact with one another are issued by the Federal Reserve, but they are not available to the members of the public.

With central bank digital currency, ordinary people would have money with the reliability of government issued cash along with the convenience of electronic funds, such as the money in your Jazzcash, ApplePay, PayPal, Venmo or checking account.

For central banks, a digital currency they issued would keep them from being shunted aside by private forms of payment. Having a widely available public currency that ''will always be accepted'' is critical for the smooth functioning of the economy,'' the Bank of England and HM Treasury wrote earlier this year.

The idea is getting a lot of attention at the Fed, from Chair Jerome Powell on down. The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston is cooperating with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to study :

The technical feasibility of a general purpose central bank digital currency, and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York is working with the Bank for International Settlements on technical research, experimentation and prototyping.

The Fed Board of Governors in Washington has a Technology Lab that's experimenting with a digital dollar.

The Fed said it would proceed with a digital dollar only if Congress authorized one.

The European Central Bank Governing Council voted in October to finalize a rule book for a digital euro and select providers to develop the infrastructure for it over the next two years but, like the Fed, said it won't issue one without legislative approval.

Central bankers have answer for critics  such as Mr. DeSantis and Mr. Ramaswamy.

The Honour and Serving of the Latest Global Operational Research on Digital Currencies, Central Banks, Markets and the Future, continues. The World Students Society thanks Peter Coy.

With most respectful dedication to the Financial Innovators of Global Financial Markets and then Global Founder Framers of !WOW!, and the then Students, Professors and Teachers of the world.

See You all prepare for Great Global Elections on !WOW! - the exclusive and eternal ownership of every student in the world-  [ for every subject } :

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