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MicroStrategy co-founder and executive chairman Michael Saylor is detailing his thoughts on the potential launch of a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) in the US.
In a new interview with Valuetainment, Saylor says concerns about the potential pitfalls of a digital dollar – including mass surveilance of how people spend their money – will drive an intense level of interest in the world’s largest decentralized crypto asset, Bitcoin.
“Interest in CBDCs is just going to drive more feverish interest in Bitcoin. It’s actually driving awareness, and Bitcoin is growing as people become more aware that they need something that is a non-sovereign store of value [that’s] nation state-resistant…
I’m sure the overwhelming majority of the population is adamantly against [CBDCs] and I would say a decent majority of politicians are against it. But there is a fringe wing that wants to impose control over everybody and they don’t trust anybody. Heck, at some point they would probably like to see how you spend $50. And that’s the control freaks in the political sphere.”
Saylor says he doubts politicians will come to a consensus on a US CBDC in the near term, and he expects a massive congressional fight over the issue.
In addition, from a technical standpoint, Saylor questions how long it will take the government to figure out how to actually create a digital version of the dollar.
But as the technology moves closer to becoming a reality, he believes more people will recognize the government and private sector’s ability to control cash and make it difficult for people to freely spend their capital.
“Money is a store of value. A unit of account. A medium of exchange. And then there’s a fourth characteristic that we don’t talk about. It’s the thing that’s not said. It’s a system of control.
Certain monies are easier to control than others. For example, we talk about gold as money, but have you ever tried to carry a gold bar through an airport? Very heavy. Try it next time. They won’t let you through.
In fact, if you tried to carry $100,000 of gold to an airport, not only would you not get through, but the assumption would be you’re a criminal, [that] you stole the gold. And they would just take it and keep it without a court order.
Now try to carry $100,000 of cash through the airport. You ever try that? Put it in a bag and as you’re walking through the TSA check or the x-ray machine, just nonchalantly say to the officer ‘yeah I’m carrying $100,000 of money onto the airplane.’ You won’t get through. Not only will you not get through, they’ll just take your money. They’ll just take it and the assumption will be you stole it. So cash is a unit control…
I like Bitcoin for the same reason the Chinese don’t like it. They can’t control it. Nobody can control Bitcoin. So if you’re insecure about being able to own your own money – do you own it and can you actually use it without asking somebody’s permission – then the solution is not gold. It’s not silver coins. It’s not stacks of cash. It’s not money in a bank in the US.
It’s certainly not money in a bank in Lebanon, Argentina or anywhere in Africa. Those banks won’t let you take your money out. Go look at Nigeria – $42 a day. That’s how much you can take out of the bank. They’re keeping your money. So the one network you have that gives you a decent chance of owning your own money and then being able to spend it the way you want is Bitcoin.”