"A widely shared video of European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde admitting that a digital euro will be used in a 'limited' way to control the payments that people can make was taken from a three-week-old prank video," Coin Telegraph reported this week.
On April 6, the Watcher Guru breaking news account drew attention to the video, which then sparked a considerable amount of discussion on social media. In the footage, Lagarde expressed her desire to not be reliant on currencies from "unfriendly countries" or provided by "private corporate entities such as Facebook or Google." She further stated that she is “personally convinced that we have to move ahead” with the digital euro.
JUST IN: ?? European Central Bank President reveals plans to launch a digital euro (CBDC), says there will be control over payments. pic.twitter.com/szCFxBkZDR
— Watcher.Guru (@WatcherGuru) April 6, 2023
According to Cointelegraph, the origin of the video can be traced back to a prank video dated March 17, in which Lagarde appeared to speak more openly than usual, under the impression that she was talking to Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky.
The individuals responsible for the prank have also had comparable discussions with other public figures, such as J.K. Rowling, the author of Harry Potter, and former US President George W. Bush, the outlet continued.
When “Zelensky" noted that “the problem is they [European protestors] don’t want to be controlled” by a central bank digital currency, Lagarde admitted that “there will be control, you’re right. You’re completely right,” but she went on to suggest it would be a “limited amount of control."
She added: "We are considering whether for very small amounts, anything that is around 300, 400 euros, we could have a mechanism where there is zero control. But that could be dangerous."
Lagarde pointed out, however, that small, anonymous transactions have been used to entirely fund terrorist attacks.
The crypto community has strongly criticized Lagarde's remarks, especially regarding her assertion that a digital euro would provide a means to regulate people and their payment activities, the outlet's report noted further.
BREAKING: European Central Bank President speaks about plans to launch a digital euro (CBDC),
She says there will be control over payments.
This is HORRIBLE folks! Do NOT give into their control. Turn to crypto and $XRP, not this bullshit!
The harder they push control upon… pic.twitter.com/rfZ1Eh6Roa
— MASON VERSLUIS ?? (@MasonVersluis) April 6, 2023
Some individuals viewed the situation in a positive light, suggesting that revealing "where all this is heading" would compel people to adopt decentralized currencies like Bitcoin.
I’d personally like to thank Christina LeGarde for choosing to advance bitcoin by making it so painfully obvious to the masses where all this is going.
— ?itcoin Kramer ?????? (@KramericaBTC_) April 7, 2023
The idea of CBDCs has gained traction in recent years, with several central banks, including China, Sweden, and the Bahamas, experimenting with digital currencies. The COVID-19 pandemic has also accelerated the push for digital payments and CBDCs.
One selling point from supporters is that CBDCs can also provide increased security compared to physical currency. Digital currencies can be tracked and traced, making it more difficult for illegal activities, such as money laundering and terrorism financing, to occur. Additionally, CBDCs can be programmed with features such as expiration dates, which can help combat inflation.
However, CBDCs also pose several challenges, including the need for robust cybersecurity measures and the potential for destabilizing the banking system. CBDCs could also potentially harm privacy by allowing central banks to monitor individuals' transactions.
Another potential issue is the impact of CBDCs on the banking system. If individuals can hold their money in central bank digital wallets, it could reduce the need for traditional banks, leading to a decrease in lending and a potential financial crisis.
In the end, the use of CBDCs by governments will be as mechanisms of control, not because they are a better currency.