I had opportunity to participate last week in a private round table at Consensus 2024, the digital assets and blockchain technology conference, on the tension between CBDCs (central bank-issued digital currencies) and privacy. Under the U.S. Constitution, Americans have a fundamental right to privacy and to what Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis called, “the right to be left alone.” Other Western countries have similar privacy principles embedded in their laws and constitutions.

While CBDCs present new risks (of centralized surveillance and, ultimately, behavioral control), the status quo is no better. The vast majority of financial transactions are already digital, and the footprints / breadcrumbs left behind are readily accessible to the surveillance State and its corporate partners. The history of collusion and unlawful information sharing between big banks and big tech on the one hand, and government agencies on the other, has proven that citizens’ privacy and property rights are already regularly violated. And unfortunately, most people don’t care. We regularly sacrifice our privacy for convenience and efficiency.

An unanswered question is whether the principle of separation of powers enshrined in the U.S. Constitution might enable the U.S. Congress (and the judicial branch) to effectively reign in the overreach of the administrative state, and provide Americans with better privacy and property rights protections than are in practice today.

Without monetary freedom, there can be no political freedom. This is one reason that the crypto ecosystem is now coalescing into a voting block that will be a formidable political force in the November elections.

You can read more of my thoughts on the subject in my article entitled, No Political Freedom Without Monetary Freedom here:

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