Amaury was recently on Tobias Ruck’s new podcast and early on in the interview he mentions this idea of the lifeboat. Usually we think of a lifeboat as a vessel used to rescue people who are in danger, and that’s exactly how he sees crypto. As a way to save ourselves from what he describes as “a banking system that is turning more and more into a panopticon.”
It’s no secret that the world we live in is becoming increasingly surveilled. Financial institutions are forced to track us more than ever, and with central bank digital currencies getting closer to becoming a reality, the situation is on the verge of becoming much worse. Imagine a world where governments have total control of our financial system. A world where we no longer have different banks to choose from, because all we have is a single bank that is backed by the state.
Imagine a situation where some nameless bureaucrat can cut you off from your wealth with a few key strokes just because you posted the wrong thing on Reddit or Twitter. Imagine not being able to buy food, or pay your bills, because you disagreed with the wrong person, and having everything confiscated from you for having the wrong opinion. Your friends and loved ones don’t dare intervene, because they’re afraid the same will happen to them. A world where everyone lives in fear of their government and the word freedom is no longer a part of our vocabulary.
Maybe this sounds overly dramatic to you. Maybe you think you live in a country where this could never happen. But earlier this year we witnessed Canadian citizens get their bank accounts frozen because they supported the wrong cause. Every day we see videos of people being beaten and robbed in streets all over the world as bystanders are too scared to do anything other than letting the criminals get away with it.
But what I fear most isn’t getting robbed at gunpoint by some random thief. What I’m afraid of is my government suddenly having the power to take everything from me for no other reason than thinking the wrong thing.
Unfortunately, that is exactly what CBDCs will empower governments to do. It’ll enable them to rugpull their own citizens by simply deleting their money. No more having to physically arrest you in your home, or call your bank and have your accounts frozen, because they can just press a button and unperson you with no need for government agents being sent to your house or even picking up the phone to call your financial institution.
This is why crypto is more important than most of us realize. In today’s world, even if you can’t get a line of credit, you can still survive using cash to pay for goods and services. But it’s obvious we’re moving to a more digital world where our ability to use cash can no longer be taken for granted.
Perhaps the bigger problem is that cash also serves as a defense mechanism against central banks. It gives citizens an alternative means to transact with one another without having to rely on a central authority and limits the government’s ability to control. But what will happen if that limit is no longer there?
This is why Amaury sees crypto as the lifeboat. It can be what cash used to be only better. But in order for crypto to save us, we need to ensure the lifeboat isn’t going to sink the moment we take it out in deep waters. We need to build the alternative, not just speculate on what the alternative could be worth.