Modern Times Opportunities
Toby & Friends
UBI, CBDC, Bitcoin & more.
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UBI, CBDC, Bitcoin & more.

What can you do to reduce the "cost of price" on your life?
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Photo by Ivan Babydov

Today’s podcast covers a wide range of topics focusing on how we can protect ourselves during times of financial crisis, global economic restructuring and overall geopolitical turmoil.

My guest is Steffen Hessel who has chosen a clearly defined path for himself and his family to thrive during such uncertain times and instead leverage Modern Times Opportunities.

In order to better understand some of the abbreviations used during the conversation or to have some context why we recorded this session, feel free to read the following introduction first or simply listen to the podcast directly.

My very best as always,

Toby

Modern Times Opportunities is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.


Defusing Abbreviations

Many years ago I came across the term “UBI” (Universal Basic Income) due to the initiatives of a famous German billionaire entrepreneur who advocated the centuries-old concept politically while it garnered significant attention over recent decades.

I, too, found it intriguing, at least until I came across the now globally hyped CBDC’s (“Central Bank Digital Currencies”), hailed as a solution which could revolutionize (and perhaps even rescue) the malaise financial industry.

The problem I see with programmable, government-linked or central bank issued digital money is simply that the very same value we both seemingly possess today won’t actually be equal any more.

Suppose we both got some UBI in the form of fiat currency today, we would normally and naturally assume that we could spend it when we need it and for what we need it.

If the same UBI however were to be issued in the form of a CBDC, the control of such spending would be completely out of our hands as digital money (contrary to cash for instance) can have limitations on who can spend how much for what and when!

No wonder that there are opponents of the digital money push towards CBDC’s then, just see the:

These concerns of course don’t come without arguments:

"In Nigeria, citizens have taken to the streets to protest the nation’s cash shortage, further objecting to their government’s implementation of a central bank digital currency (CBDC). The shortage came about due to cash restrictions aimed at pushing the country into a 100% cashless economy.

Yet, instead of adopting the CBDC, Nigerian protesters are demanding paper money be restored. The country’s experience strongly suggests the average citizen understands that CBDCs present a substantial risk to financial freedom while providing no unique benefit. The new notes will, it is hoped, arrive soon, but even then Nigerians are unlikely to find relief.

Central bank Governor Godwin Emefiele said, 'The destination, as far as I am concerned, is to achieve a 100% cashless economy in Nigeria.”
Nicholas Anthony, Consensus Magazine

Deciding the Future?

The consequences can already be seen in the case of Nigeria, where CBDC’s clearly failed to deliver.

Meanwhile Argentina began to roll out biometric ATMs, a country which despite being exposed to the theft of their citizen’s data is no stranger to an ever more expanding digital surveillance policy, even though inflation is at an all time high. No wonder people fall for the temptation of the Worldcoin Foundation’s digital identity program.

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I believe we all have a duty to make a better effort in understanding the crucial reality of the rise of crypto currencies, digital IDs, UBI and linked CBDC’s as best explained by Prof. Richard Werner in the following video:

With global censorship being actively pursued now as a goal under certain UN initiatives, we would also do well to support projects such as the Internet Archive, a non-profit library of millions of free books, movies, software, music, websites, and more — currently being under attack under the disguise of copyright issues.

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Of course the real intent is different. Limiting our freedom of thought by disabling the browsing of past, present and future history (the way it was recorded then and there) is an eerily effective way of doing so. But what if people don’t care or if you dare to access such sites (let alone support them) anyway?

Will the CBDC issued to you hold up in an ongoing transaction?

Global centralization of policies clearly plays a role here and has greatly accelerated especially during the last pandemic.

As Prof. Richard Werner puts it during the interviews he gave:

“This time the distraction was a pandemic. They agreed on this back in 2019 at a meeting of central bankers. Now they are offering CBDC as a solution to a problem we don't have.” […] “The ECB (European Central Bank) did the same thing as the FED (Federal Reserve). They created inflation on purpose.”

Having said this — if you thought the CBDC’s plans sounded dystopian, just read the new “unified ledger” agenda released by the Bank for International Settlements (“BIS”, also known as the “Bank of Central Banks”).


Not so fast!

Luckily some people see right through those threats and voice their concerns loudly, as did this US Congressman:

“The Federal Reserve is building the financial equivalent of the Death Star. Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) corrupts money into a tool for coercion & control. Congress must swiftly ban then criminalize any effort to design, build, develop, test or establish CBDC.”
Warren Davidson on X

It’s not surprising that politicians who have their citizen’s and their nation’s interests at heart start to wake up, especially given that the BIS itself says that a CBDC roll-out may require changing the constitution.

Thank you for reading Modern Times Opportunities. This post is public so feel free to share it.

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In case you hoped that a Southern block, an Eastern hemisphere or perhaps certain BRICS member states would be any different, I would suggest to read the following detailed analysis:

Edward Slavsquat
The Bank of Russia's CBDC: Myth vs Reality
The Bank of Russia’s digital ruble was officially signed into law on Monday by President Vladimir Putin, after the legislative framework for Russia’s “third form of currency” was ratified by the State Duma earlier this month. Excluding state and corporate media, the digital ruble has not been particularly well received in Russia—p…
Read more

“The very idea of our government controlling our money, with the ability to turn it off whenever they see fit, is terrifying.”

“If a political enemy of the deep state... says or does something that is not approved, the government could prohibit them from using their digital, government-controlled financial assets, or simply take them away.”

“We just lived through a time... where the government forced social media to censor Americans for their statements about the 2020 election, and unconstitutional Covid lockdowns, and violations of Americans' medical freedom—forcing them to take an experimental vaccine in order to work, go to school, shop, go to restaurants, and live.”

— U.S. Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene

Just over a week ago at this session of the US House of Representatives a bill was passed that would prohibit the Federal Reserve from issuing Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) without congressional approval.

Committee Chairman Patrick McHenry said:

"This bill prevents unelected bureaucrats from issuing a central bank digital currency (CBDC) that would impinge on Americans' right to financial privacy. [...] (The data behind CBDC) will be used to create a social credit system that rewards or punishes people based on their behavior. This type of financial surveillance has no place in the United States. What is worrying is that the current administration does not seem to agree.”

Yet, the danger is far from over.

With the endangerment finding of CO2 — a gas that’s food for much of the green life on our planet (yet has been manipulated to turn scientific reality upside down by solely declaring it as a pollutant), the well stated goal of tying digital ID’s to UBI and CBDC’s to CO2 marches on unhindered.

Therefore:

Have a Backup Plan

While no one was paying attention, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) silently moved over 100 tonnes of its gold reserves from the UK to India for the first time since 1991. RBI also purchased 24 tonnes of gold in just four months, which is 1.5 times more than its gold purchases for all of 2023. India will now hold most of its gold in its own vaults. It’s worth thinking about.

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Another thing to think about is to remember having a choice and simply say “no”. When one day presented with the option of a “free” UBI, it could be worth to realize that everything has a price and every price has a cost. The “cost of price” for UBI might well be our freedom. Temptations rarely live up to their promise, so consider rejecting CBDC’s when (and while!) you still have the opportunity to do so.

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And in case all fails (even better, before so), remember that your heart might in fact be a bidirectional scalar field antenna.

What’s that you ask?

More on that in the future.

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Modern Times Opportunities
Toby & Friends
Welcome to "Toby & Friends" – the podcast for the self-curious. Here you’ll meet creative thinkers and doers who share their knowledge, wisdom and experiences with other listeners and aspiring Polymaths, covering topics relevant to our current times.
"If you are the smartest person in the room, then you are in the wrong room." Taking Confucius' wise words to heart, the idea of this podcast series is to exchange with (smarter) friends in a virtual campfire session, without sponsorship and no particular agenda, but in the true spirit of polymathic learning, simply by sharing knowledge and thus coming up with new solutions to the most pressing problems of Modern Times.
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