Like, hate, or fear them, central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) are on their way. There will be no stopping them. From Sweden to Thailand and China to Canada, governments the world over are experimenting with CBDCs. While most are being undertaken as pilots at this stage, China’s is all but ready for primetime.

Social Credit on Steroids

The digital dollar and yuan will be a boon to governments seeking greater oversight into monetary movements, with real-time insights into how and where funds are deployed. But these instruments could prove catastrophic for ordinary citizens, further eroding their privacy while increasing inequality.

CBDCs are everything that cash is not: easily surveilled, censored, and apportioned to those deemed “worthy” of participating in this new digital economy.

Social credit – the notion that citizens must prove themselves eligible for inclusion by kowtowing to the will of the state – is already here, and it’s not just confined to authoritarian regimes. “If the Communist Party [of China] deems you to be…

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