G20 Leaders Plot CBDCs and Digital IDs Worldwide

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In a monumental step toward a digitized future, the convocation of the 20 largest world economies, famously known as the G20, have concluded upon a commitment to herald the advent of digital currencies and digital IDs across their territories. This decision, however, has sparked major anxieties given its potential as a mechanism through which governments can keep tabs on their citizen spending habits and stifle opposition. The announcement came from a recent meeting held in New Delhi, under the mantle of India’s presidency.

Voices from across the globe have raised alarms over the potential grooming of cryptocurrencies through government-aided regulation, which could subsequently lead to the replacement of these decentralized digital currencies with state-controlled Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) that could override privacy and security attributes.

Nirmala Sitharaman, India’s Finance Minister, touched upon the necessity of a global construct to effectively map crypto assets regulation. She declared at the G20 gathering, “India’s presidency [of G20] has put on the table key issues related to regulating or understanding that there should be a framework for handling issues related to crypto assets.”

At the New Delhi Summit, important points deliberated included technological public infrastructure, the digital economy, as well as crypto assets and digital currencies of central banks. Gita Gopinath, first deputy managing director of International Monetary Fund (IMF), reinforced that the G20 gathering served as a platform to shape a global perspective on crypto assets.

However, the idea of extensive monitoring of cryptocurrencies has ruffled feathers, with apprehensive individuals arguing that this might grant governments the master keys to manipulate social credit scores and control the monetary spending of citizens.

Speaking at the conference, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen mirrored the need for a global regulatory body over artificial intelligence (AI), digital ID systems, akin to COVID-19 Vaccine passports and championed the necessity of international collaboration to address AI-related challenges.

Despite this public uproar, governments continue to drive their focus towards CBDCs. Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director of IMF praised India’s proactive approach in preparing a roadmap for crypto asset regulations.

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