CBDCs might be used for “control” during financial crises, says European Central Bank chief

Christine Lagarde, the president of the European Central Bank (ECB), has admitted in a widely shared prank video that a digital euro, a central bank digital currency (CBDC) that is currently scheduled for release in the near future, would be used in a ‘limited’ manner to control the payments that individuals can make.

The film, in which Lagarde is led to believe she is speaking with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, originated from the video platform Rumble channel Show VL, whose authors conduct spoof interviews with public figures and was initially shared on March 16.

Discussing the active opposition in Europe to the probable introduction of the digital euro, the person posing as Zelensky stated, “The problem is that they don’t want to be controlled” by a CBDC. In response, Lagarde stated, “You’re correct, there will be control. You are entirely correct, but specifying it would result in “limited control.”

As she elaborated: “We are evaluating the possibility of implementing a mechanism with no oversight for transactions involving very tiny sums, such as €300 or €400.”

She added that “that could be risky” because very small, completely anonymous transactions could still finance terrorist attacks, as was the case ten years ago in France.

It’s also worth noting that Lagarde has voiced concerns about the rise of cryptocurrencies and the threat they pose to the traditional banking system, saying in September 2022 that the rise of crypto assets could undermine the role of central banks as an “anchor” of the economy and calling for more regulation of a sector she deemed “worthless.”

In February 2023, Finbold reported on the ECB’s digital euro introduction plans, which prioritize e-commerce and person-to-person payments during the CBDC release’s first phase and then physical stores and government payments in the second.

Nic Carter, General Partner at Castle Island Ventures, recently stated that the recent turmoil strengthened “the political case for CBDCs,” as “no one trusts commercial banks” anymore, prompting widespread speculation that the recent financial crisis in the United States was a ploy to speed up the adoption of CBDCs.

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