Earlier this week, we discussed a host of conspiracy theories released by the Bank of Russia. Debunking them together was satisfying to say the least. So much so that I couldn’t resist coming back to one more “gem” from the Bank’s declaration that put into focus the real reason why Russia’s Central Bank, or any Central Bank for that matter, would try to sow confusion around Bitcoin for citizens who may not know better:
In recent years, the Bank of Russia and many foreign central banks have been extensively deploying faster payments systems meeting individuals’ and companies’ needs in instantaneous settlements. Moreover, central banks, including the Bank of Russia, are developing central bank digital currencies (CBDC), that is, a new payment infrastructure which will enable people, businesses and the government to conduct instantaneous transactions with minimal fees. Hence, the benefits of cryptocurrencies which make them attractive as payment instrument for operations other than money laundering and other illicit activities, namely high speed, convenience, relative low cost, could be realized and are already being realized through creation and development of faster payments systems and by national digital currencies in the future.
In case you didn’t catch it, the endgame for the Bank of Russia is to convince Russian citizens to choose the country’s forthcoming Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) over Bitcoin. Longtime participants in the space know that Bitcoin and CBDCs couldn’t be more different from one another. Bitcoin enables financial sovereignty and wealth preservation for all, while CBDCs put financial exclusion and oversight by governments into hyperdrive. Regardless, there are two counterpoints to the Bank of Russia’s statement that we can’t afford to overlook: