‘This would be game over’ – Joe Rogan takes aim at CBDC privacy

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Underlining just how much discussions over CBDCs have shifted into the mainstream, Joe Rogan and music icon Post Malone both expressed fear over the level of control they could possess. 

The podcaster and UFC commentator described the potential introduction of CBDCs as ‘game over’ as he encompassed the growing fears over the potential of government influence on the crypto space. 

The prospect of CBDCs were instantly dismissed by a fearful Rogan, who hosts the world’s biggest podcast, as he warned: “If they decide somehow or another that you need some social credit score system and it’s for the benefit of society, and they outline that, they can track your behaviour and your tweets and all your things.”

What the conversation between the two megastars truly emphasises is that fears over CBDCs are no longer niche, and that there would be significant friction in their implementation in the Western world. 

It’s not the first time that Rogan has warned over the potential of CBDCs, having previously expressed fears over the level of government influence they could have on society. 

Speaking to Payment Expert, SEON CEO, Tamas Kadar also outlined the fraud risks that could combine with the mainstream implementation of CBDCs. 

He stated: “Upon launch, CBDCs will inevitably be targeted by fraudsters who will try to leverage their expertise to dupe less informed victims out of their money. That’s because despite the rise of cryptocurrencies, the vast majority of people have still never owned a digital currency and will therefore require education on how to safely use and store these items against the risk of fraud and to protect against loss. 

“To this end, governments around the world who are interested in deploying CBDCs must do so alongside a well-designed, comprehensive guidance campaign, which educates and informs new users about the capabilities, and risks of the technology they’re using. If this doesn’t happen, then we would be opening the door to fraud on a scale that we have never seen before. Quite frankly, it would most likely lead to the failure of CBDCs.”

Various regions have moved at different paces when it comes to the embracing and implementation of a CBDC. Furthermore, a Bank of England consultation on a digital pound, which stated it would be “rigorously governed and regulated”, will only serve to elevate scepticism of a CBDC. 

On the other hand, earlier this year in China, Reuters reported that the Governor of the People’s Bank of China Yi Gang, stated China’s CBDC, which was launched just one-and-a-half years ago and had experienced exponential growth.

According to the report, the digital Yuan has reached more than 950 million transactions facilitated by around 120 million wallets. 

At a conference hosted by the Monetary Authority of Singapore, he also detailed to the audience that “you can see that right now, the balance of e-CNY is only counting two-tenths of 1% of M0, so that the balance is very small, but with this kind of balance (we) support a big number of transactions, which means that the velocity is high and more efficient.”

That being said, as the views of many of the most influential figures highlight, due to the potential impact it could have on accessibility of data, it’s likely to take far more than payment efficiency for a CBDC to be embraced in the Western world. 

The threat of fraud is also something that hasn’t been eradicated from China’s implementation of CBDCs; soon after the launch of the digital Yuan officials arrested dozens of criminals that had taken aim at the currency.