Elon Musk downplays CBDC conspiracy chatter Elon Musk downplays CBDC conspiracy chatter

Elon Musk downplays CBDC conspiracy chatter

Musk believes market forces will determine the success or failure of Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs).

Elon Musk downplays CBDC conspiracy chatter

Cover art/illustration via CryptoSlate

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CoinDesk Consensus

Elon Musk brushed aside talk of a conspiracy involving Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs), alluding to market forces controlling the outcome.

Specifically, when asked if he had concerns about plans to move to a CBDC, the Twitter and Tesla CEO said, “I don’t think they know what they are talking about.”

CBDC skepticism

The Atlantic Council’s CBDC tracker shows 11 programs launched to date, 17 in the pilot phase, and 72 in the research and development phase.

It recently emerged that all G7 countries had moved into the development stage of a centralized digital currency, suggesting a coordinated push toward this direction.

On Jan. 18, the Digital Dollar Project, a nonprofit organization supporting a U.S. CBDC, announced updating its whitepaper while calling for the U.S. government to develop a digital currency regulatory framework “regardless of whether it decides to deploy a digital dollar.”

As plans to develop CBDCs have accelerated, so has the pushback against them. Wall Street Silver recently cited a tweet from former Congressman Justin Amash, saying money and state should be separated while calling the digital dollar “one of the most dangerous developments in history.”

Political Writer James Melville went to the extreme of claiming the rollout of digital currencies is inevitable. If so, this would imply public consultations and talk of “no decision has been made” is pure theater.

Central Bank Digital Currencies: Itโ€™s not a conspiracy theory. Itโ€™s an agenda.

Musk hints at people’s power

Musk did not answer when asked about FTX being a ploy to bring about greater centralization of money. Instead, he said, “almost all money is digital already.”

Laughing, he described the monetary system as “rickety mainframes running ancient COBOL” while doing everything in batch mode.

“The fiat monetary system for practical purposes consists of a series of heterogeneous mainframes running antiquated COBOL. That’s the money system, by the way. It’s kind of embarrassing.”

On the matter of conspiracy, Musk said he thinks CBDCs are irrelevant in that people will use whatever accrues value and overlook that which does not.

“Whether banks create their own cryptocurrency, I think, is somewhat irrelevant. People will use the cryptocurrencies that they think will accrue value over time, and not use the ones that don’t.”

Nigeria’s e-Naira launched in the fall of 2021 and has so far failed to gain traction. Estimates suggest less than 0.5% of the population is using the CBDC.

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