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  • DebD

Have You Thought About Digital Currencies And How They Could Affect You?

July 12, 2022

Being a freelancer puts you at the forefront of financial changes as your means of getting paid and how you get paid will vary. Depending on where you are located and the currency you use, it's can become (or is becoming) more difficult to receive payments. Never mind that things have become so politicized that a podcast, a post, an email, or a comment could get you banned from various online payment systems.

This is one reason why the transformation to primarily digital currencies has many people on edge, and for good reason, as you have less and less control of your finances. With paper currencies at least we can control when and how we spend it. Not so much with digital currencies.

In the writeup Privacy Issues Seen Reducing Appeal of Central Bank Digital Currencies it says that: "Central bank digital currencies, a potential government-backed alternative to cryptocurrencies that would provide faster and more secure payments, raise privacy challenges that could hinder their development, according to academic experts. " I wholly agree.

I for one am a bit weary about this possible change to digital currency. Just think, no more paying your nephew 30 (of whatever currency you use) to mow your lawn or walk your dog. Why? Because as I wrote, if things continue the way they are, you won't have the freedom to do so. Every coin must be accounted for and your "digital money" will be forfeited or permitted depending on a number of factors like who you associate with or your weight! Much like a social credit system that's being implemented as we speak in a certain east Asian country. Yes it seems a bit outlandish but haven't the past two-plus years been, well, unusual?

There's plenty of information about the concerns of transitioning completely to digital currencies out there. For example, according to one informed site owner: "A centralized, government-controlled digital currency is coming. This new system of accounting and currency control would forever change the traditional banking system, upending accounting systems and implementing a new system of monetary control and enforcement of social credit scores and behavioral conditioning."

According to the article Much Anticipated Central Bank Digital Currencies Raise Privacy Concerns:

"There are multiple concerns about the creation of CBDCs, however. While some of them revolve around the security and centralization of data and access, the main issue is privacy. Many point to CBDCs as the start of demonetization which is itself an effort to eliminate untraceability in the financial sector.

When it comes to privacy, it doesn’t end with demonetization. The aforementioned “security and centralization” concerns also boil down to privacy when further analyzed. When information is centralized, it can be easily accessed, which means users’ financial information can be targeted by the government or even criminals. Of course, other risks like actual theft are still at play.

Although CBDCs are beginning to look like an unavoidable future rather than just a novelty, they may not have as much impact as some in the crypto industry fear. For one, they may not eliminate cash and coexist with paper currency, at least for the immediate future.

It’s unclear when CBDCs will truly take off and to what degree, but if they are heavily implemented, it’s possible that citizens will lose yet another set of financial liberties and privacy to convenience — a picture that is all too familiar."

I tend to agree with most of the author's sentiments in the above article; however, he does slightly push cryptocurrencies as a viable alternative even though cryptos are completely digital and for me "if I can't hold it in my hand...well, you know the rest." I'm not a big cryptocurrency-blockchain fan as of yet.

Additionally, in order to embrace the digital currency as a viable replacement for cash the entirety of the financial market would have to enact austere regulatory policies along with the surveillance and management needed in order to enforce their regulations. Which comes back to what I stated previously about privacy and freedom. In order to execute a system of digital currencies 24/7-365 days a year surveillance would be you want that?

I read an informative online comment that imparts my sentiments about digital currencies perfectly I hope the poster doesn't mind me re-posting his comment. His name is D. Hermanutz. He was commenting on the article Why Digital Currency Won't Save Us:

"Great article! But I think it’s a mistake to abandon physical cash money. If a solar flare takes out the electrical grid, then none of the electronic money “works”. And unless everybody becomes techies like the young Chinese who use their smartphones to pay for cups of coffee with WePay - and every retailer in the country is linked into the electronic payments system - cash is still the most convenient form of money for everyday small purchases.

We already use digital money — commercial bank-issued bank deposits — as our main form of payments money. The central-commercial bank-operated payments system is globally-integrated, fast, secure, and transaction fees are very low. Monetary reform could make bank deposits a secure form of money, if governments and central banks implemented the measures that would secure bank deposits against commercial banking system failure - which is monetary system failure, because commercial banks issue virtually all of of the spendable, investible, savable payments media (bank deposits) that we use as our money supply."

Final Thoughts

The world of financing is definitely changing. However, the changes may not appear too obvious at the moment. As the saying goes "it happened gradually and gradually and then suddenly." But the financial modifications are somewhat noticeable in our day-to-day spending habits. Many people use their cards for payments in the physical world and online shopping requires using some form of digital payment whether it's with a card or some other online payment system.

Nonetheless, I don't think digital currencies will completely take over. I believe most of the populace around the world won't accept it. It should be a now. Some people use their cards more often for payments while others prefer to use cash as their primary form of payment. Either way, the financial shift in a number of sectors will be forthcoming. As a freelancer (and even if you are not) are you even aware or preparing for the upcoming monetary transformations?

What are your thoughts on this topic? Let's have a discussion.

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