A prominent financial writer has said that plans to create a digital euro throughout the Eurozone monetary union are a “f***ing trap” and “the perfect tool for surveillance.”
The European Central Bank, located in Frankfurt, hopes to make the embryonic concept of “cash” saved on cellphones rather than wallets or credit cards a reality by 2026.
According to a survey conducted earlier this year by the European Union’s Eurobarometer research website, hardly one-third of individuals living in the 20 Eurozone countries have even heard of the notion, let alone comprehend what it is.
And Marc Friedrich, author of books including The Biggest Crash of All Time, is vehemently opposed to the idea, outlining his criticisms in a series of videos on Youtube which have amassed 350,000 subscribers.
He told Politico: “It’s a f***ing trap.
“They’ll say, ‘Hey, it’s easier, it’s tidier, you don’t have to put your fingers on these dirty notes and you don’t get COVID virus’ or something like that.
“A robber can’t steal your money anymore – but you can have a chip under your skin. It’s the perfect tool for surveillance and a digital dictatorship.”
He continued: “I hope there is no plan but for me it makes no sense to create a digital euro unless you want to control people.
“When my grandfather was dying I asked him everything about Nazi Germany. I know how it happens.”
There is no suggestion the ECB, led by President Christine Lagarde, has any plan to place microchips under the skin of anyone – but others also have concerns.
Jorg Methuen, an MEP and a member of the German Center Party believes “government surveillance and a cashless society” is the ECB’s “final aim”.
He added: “I’m deeply worried that the project of the digital euro is not only a project to develop a useful additional instrument of future payments, but that the real intention is the start of replacing any kind of cash payments.”
Earlier this month former Brexit Party and UKIP leader Nigel Farage voiced his concerns about what he saw as the phasing out of physical currency.
He said: “The banks are relentlessly driving us towards a cashless society. Keeping cash as legal tender is vital because a cashless UK would be the first step to a fully digitised economy with control over our spending and a huge potential loss of freedom.”
A statement on the website of the ECB explains: “We are working with the national central banks of the euro area to investigate whether to introduce a digital euro. It would be a central bank digital currency, an electronic equivalent to cash.
“And it would complement banknotes and coins, giving people an additional choice about how to pay. A digital euro would offer an electronic means of payment that anyone could use in the euro area.