China Rolls Out CBDCs for Public Transport
China’s central banks digital currency, e-CNY is being piloted in several cities to be used in public transport and education.
Expanding the Eyes of the State
China has officially begun rolling out the next round of its CBDC program, most evidently in the city of Guangzhou, where it is now possible to pay for public transport with central bank-issued digital yuan.
Passengers are required to download an application, deposit funds, and scan a QR code at the bus stop to make payment. Ningbo is the ninth municipality in China that has launched a similar program.
The communist government has rapidly increased the e-CNY application this year, notably through government-sponsored airdrops that are designed to stimulate after prolonged lockdowns.
Since launching its CBDC program, one online retailer noted it had seen around 900 million CNY (US$131.6 million) in transactions since accepting e-CNY. In total, approximately 830 billion ($US121.4 billion) worth of e-CNY transactions were recorded in the first five months of 2022 alone.
CBDCs are not as advertised
As whistleblower Edward Snowden correctly points out, CBDCs, while marketed as digital currencies, are in fact much more sinister. CBDCs can be viewed as programmable money that can form the base layer of a social score.
In a dystopic world in which all money is essentially smart contracts, government has the power to decide what you should do and then uses carrots and sticks to ensure compliance. It’s not surprising that authoritarian regimes like the Chinese Communist Party have been so quick in accepting them:
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I’m a journalist who specializes in investigative reporting and writing. I have written for the New York Times and other publications.