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Robert F. Kennedy Jr: “CBDCs are the ultimate mechanisms for social surveillance and control”

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Since announcing his presidential campaign, Democratic candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has made it clear that he’s pro-digital and financial freedom by opposing central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), calling out debanking, and slamming digital IDs.

Kennedy’s criticism of CBDCs has been geared around FedNow — an instant payment infrastructure developed by the Federal Reserve that’s set to launch in July.

Kennedy initially described FedNow as a CBDC before later clarifying that he fears it’s “the first step toward a CBDC.”

114 countries, which represent more than 95% of the world’s global domestic product (GDP), are exploring a CBDC. The Biden administration has said CBDCs “have the potential to offer significant benefits.” And the heads of major central banks have confirmed that CBDCs will be identity-verified, lack the privacy of cash, and be programmable. This programmability means that central bankers or governments can make your CBDCs expire, impose spending limits, or control what you’re allowed to spend your CBDCs on.

Kennedy has recognized that these powers “grease the slippery slope to financial slavery and political tyranny.”

In a tweet, the presidential candidate warned:

“While cash transactions are anonymous, a #CBDC will allow the government to surveil all our private financial affairs. The central bank will have the power to enforce dollar limits on our transactions restricting where you can send money, where you can spend it, and when money expires.”

Kennedy has also noted that the surveillance and control will likely not be limited to financial data because CBDC users have to verify their identity. This link to identity means that governments or central banks can bring in lots of additional data linked to your identity, combine this with the financial data they extract from your CBDC use, and create an expansive social credit score that dictates how or if you can spend your money.

The presidential candidate has suggested that such a score could be tied to compliance with arbitrary government decrees such as being vaccinated.

Kennedy believes that COVID-19 and the banking crisis will be used by governments as an excuse to usher in CBDCs and has predicted that as governments introduce CBDCs, they’ll start to crack down on cryptocurrencies and other assets that serve as an “escape route” from government control of the financial system.

He recently forecast that:

“The Fed will initially limit its CBDC to interbank transactions but we should not be blind to the obvious danger that this is the first step in banning and seizing bitcoin as the Treasury did with gold 90 years ago today in 1933.”

Kennedy, like many in the cryptocurrency industry, believes that this crackdown has already begun. In a recent tweet, he claimed that the Biden White House has “organized bankers to participate in a sophisticated, widespread crackdown to destroy the crypto industry.”

The presidential candidate’s comments are describing Operation Chokepoint 2.0 — an alleged Biden administration effort to discourage banks from providing their services to cryptocurrency firms.

Kennedy added:

“The recent crackdown on crypto blocks exit ramps, removes alternative rails, and strengthens government control over both the financial and political systems.

We should be wary since CBDCs are the ultimate mechanisms for social surveillance and control.”

Related: Central Bank Digital Currencies make authoritarianism, censorship, and surveillance easy

Kennedy’s pro-digital and financial freedom stance is in stark contrast to several other prominent figures in the Democratic Party who have embraced CBDCs and attacked cryptocurrencies.

Democratic President Joe Biden’s administration loves CBDCs and financial surveillance. And the Biden regime recently signaled that it plans to go after decentralized cryptocurrency markets by forcing them to identify their customers.

These decentralized markets allow users to buy, sell, and exchange cryptocurrency without relying on a centralized intermediary and usually don’t require identity verification. This makes it harder for governments to link transactions to a person’s identity, surveil transactions, block transactions, and financially blacklist people.

If the Biden administration is effective at forcing these decentralized cryptocurrency markets to implement identity verification, they’ll become part of the same centralized financial dragnet that banks and CBDCs currently operate in — a dragnet where every transaction is surveilled and where governments control who gets to participate.

Senator Elizabeth Warren, a former presidential candidate, is another well-known Democrat that has declared war on cryptocurrencies and welcomed CBDCs.

She recently launched an “anti-crypto” Senate re-election campaign and has previously called for surveillance of cryptocurrency wallets.

In a 2022 interview with NBC, she expressed her disdain for bitcoin and said “it’s time” for CBDCs.

Warren’s call for the introduction of CBDCs came just one month after President Biden signed an executive order that instructed federal agencies to explore a digital dollar and develop a cryptocurrency regulation strategy.

Despite the clear efforts of the Biden administration and Warren to push a CBDC, the Federal Reserve is downplaying Kennedy’s concerns that FedNow is the first step towards a CBDC. The central bank claims that FedNow is not a “step toward eliminating any form of payment” and that it has “made no decision on issuing a central bank digital currency.”

But actions speak louder than words. Kennedy is sounding the alarm about a trend that’s clear for everyone to see.

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