ASI President Slams CBDCs Citing Privacy Concerns

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  • ASI President Rich Checkan said “central bank digital currencies were concocted in hell by Satan himself.”
  • Checkan stated CBDCs grant governments full control over money and related policies, which is very concerning.
  • He said Bitcoin can be a suitable alternative for these government-issued digital assets.

Rich Checkan, president and COO at Assets Strategies International (ASI), referred to central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) as one of the biggest perils to user privacy.

Checkan, who was speaking in an interview with Kitco News, pointed out that CBDCs grant governments full control over money. He asserted that governments can track, monitor, and easily halt all transactions of their citizens, basically tracing one’s whole life. He stated:

I think central bank digital currencies were concocted in hell by Satan himself. They are incredibly controlled by governments over everybody’s bank accounts and they are going to create a void of privacy for every individual citizen. They’re horrible, but I think that’s where they, Central banks, want to go.

The comments come at a time when Jerome Powell, Federal Reserve Chair, has said that CBDCs can potentially gouge the demand for digital assets, particularly stablecoins. “In particular, you wouldn’t need stablecoins, you wouldn’t need cryptocurrencies if you had a digital U.S. currency – I think that’s one of the stronger arguments in its favor,” Powell said.

In addition, China is very close to a full roll-out of its digital yuan, as numerous payment institutions in the country including Alipay have enabled the e-CNY module for a number of users. Aside from China, more and more central banks are now actively exploring a CBDC, with the European Central Bank (ECB) being one of the latest banks to do so by exploring a digital euro.

Bitcoin is an Alternative to CBDCs

When mentioning the top downsides of CBDCs, Checkan said that Bitcoin can actually frame a suitable alternative for these government-issued digital assets. “I think Bitcoin is one of the alternatives to that horrible, evil CBDC,” he said.

When asked if Bitcoin can constitute a threat to CBDCs and fiat currencies, Checkan said it is too soon to make a verdict. The ASI CEO asserted that, so far, Bitcoin has behaved as a speculative asset, and it is yet to be widely accepted as a currency. He said:

It’s not a threat, one of the options for Bitcoin is to be a form of currency, but there’s not widespread adoption and penetration […] so we really haven’t tested that model. Which is why I think it’s partially acting as a speculative asset.

On the matter of Bitcoin versus gold, Checkan said both serve “different function for your portfolio.” He concluded that there is no need for choosing one, suggesting that it would be wise to include both of these assets in the portfolio.