The purpose of this article is to create awareness of the urgent threat of Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC), to discuss and describe Jeffrey Epstein’s potential involvement in both funding CBDCs as well as his possible role in changing the underlying purpose of Bitcoin, rendering it unusable as a cash alternative for day-to-day transactions.
The article also provides a snippet from my book, The Final Countdown, which goes into detail and further provides practical advice for avoiding CBDCs.
The CBDC Threat
Imagine a future where every dollar you spend is tracked—not by a bank, but by the government. This isn’t a distant sci-fi scenario; it’s a real possibility with the advent of Central Bank Digital Currencies, or CBDCs. These are not just new forms of money; they are potentially powerful tools for monitoring and controlling human behavior.
The concept is simple yet profound – a digital currency issued by the government that can be programmed with specific rules. For instance, your savings could be frozen if your online activities don’t align with governmental standards, or mandatory spending could be enforced to stimulate the economy. This level of control could extend to everyday choices, dictating the groceries you buy or the vacations you can access, all based on a digital scoring system.
My book delves into this topic, painting a picture of a future where CBDCs could lead us into a dystopian society and the first chapter is available here.
The urgency of this matter propelled me towards cryptocurrencies and precious metals in 2019, when I completely exited the dollar. It compelled me to author a book, and even run for presidential office to shed light on these critical issues. As a fellow at Brownstone Institute, my current focus is to educate and empower others about the potential risks of CBDCs, with possible implementation before the 2024 elections.
In my travels, I’ve encountered significant gaps in public awareness about CBDCs. Over 80% of Americans have never even heard of them, as mainstream media seldom covers the topic. Those who have view CBDCs as a distant future concern, or believe they offer financial convenience and inclusivity, a belief held particularly among younger generations.
This article aims to clarify and warn about the current state of CBDC technology in the US, explain the existing political momentum for their adoption, and highlight the intriguing yet concerning connections between Jeffrey Epstein and cryptocurrency developments. Epstein’s link to the MIT Multimedia Lab, which played a pivotal role in significant CBDC trials and influenced changes to Bitcoin’s functionality, suggests a narrative far from the revolutionary currency Bitcoin once was, and potentially melding it into a tool for the elite.
Documents released by the US District Court for the Southern District of New York have only deepened the mystery surrounding Epstein’s motives and actions. His interest in cryptocurrency has been documented as early as 2017, and while the full extent of his involvement remains unclear, the ties are enough to warrant scrutiny.
In raising the alarm on Epstein’s connection to the crypto and CBDC ecosystem, I aim to challenge any narrative that paints CBDCs in a purely positive light. Proponents of CBDCs, such as the WEF, World Bank, UN, Central Banks, and politicians like Senator Elizabeth Warren. claim that CBDCs promote financial inclusions and fight terrorism and money laundering. This is not the true intent, only clever marketing. They are about control, which should be acutely apparent after experiencing the tyranny and erosion of personal freedoms during Covid. This article, along with upcoming video interviews, will aim to peel back the layers of this complex issue and explore the potential consequences to our financial liberties.
CBDCs Coming to America (edited excerpt in part from Chapter 4 of The Final Countdown)
The US stands at a critical juncture, as the government’s pursuit of CBDCs gains unprecedented momentum. Within the next 12 months, the cherished American ideal of freedom could be undermined by a centrally controlled digital currency. Unbeknownst to many, the Federal Reserve has already conducted three successful wide-ranging CBDC pilots, while President Joe Biden has championed the cause through the sweeping Executive Order 14067. This order has set in motion a multi-agency effort to lay the foundation for digital currencies, bringing the dystopian scenarios outlined at the beginning of this article and further detailed in my book.
In this section, we will examine President Biden’s Executive Order, delve into the three CBDC pilot programs, and explore the implications of FedNow infrastructure, launched nationwide in July 2023, which could enable the rapid deployment of CBDCs in the US. The situation is more dire than it even appears on the surface, as they want to be able to not only control and program money but also digital assets.
Imagine if stocks, bonds, homes, cars, computers, literally any assets could be tracked centrally by the government and the sale or transfer of those assets could be blocked by multiple 3rd parties (including the government, Federal Reserve, and other centralized 3rd parties). The shock, alarm, and anger provoked by these revelations should serve as a rallying cry for those seeking alternatives, striving to share this crucial information and take action to stop this before it’s too late.
Executive Order 14067
On March 9, 2022, President Biden signed Executive Order 14067, “Ensuring Responsible Development of Digital Assets.” The order directs the US government to take a whole-of-government approach to the development of digital assets, including CBDCs. The order is expansive in its scope, covering a wide range of issues related to digital assets, including their potential impact on the financial system, national security, and consumer protection. The order also directs the US government to work with international partners to develop ‘responsible standards’ for digital assets (enter UN, WEF, IMF, World Bank, and BIS).
Jim Rickards, a respected expert on financial markets and geopolitics, has sounded the alarm bell about the significant problems and overreach in this Executive Order. He believes that the order is too broad and does not provide enough guidance on how the government should develop and implement a CBDC. He is also concerned that the order could lead to the erosion of privacy and financial sovereignty. Rickards explains, “Executive Order 14067 is a dangerous step towards a cashless society. It gives the government too much power to track and control our financial transactions.” He further adds, “The order is also a threat to privacy and financial sovereignty. It could lead to the erosion of our right to control our own money.”
To be very clear, the President of the United States has put forward a framework that looks like the dystopian nightmare we are so desperately trying to avoid. Rickards warns, “The order is a missed opportunity to promote innovation and competition in the payments system. Instead, it is a recipe for government control and surveillance.”
US CBDC Pilot Programs
Even prior to Biden’s Executive Order, the Federal Reserve was well underway in researching, developing, and piloting CBDCs.
Let’s take a closer look at the key CBDC initiatives: Project Hamilton, Project Cedar, the Regulated Liability Network (RLN) program, and explore what they mean for the future of money and personal freedom in the United States. As you explore this keep in mind that all 3 of these pilots received funding from the MIT Multimedia lab which has direct ties to Jeffrey Epstein.
Project Hamilton, a joint venture between the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston and MIT, explored the use of a retail CBDC during a pilot program that ran from 2020-2022. A retail CBDC is a digital form of fiat currency that is issued by a central bank (in this case the Federal Reserve) and can be accessed directly by the public. This form of electronic cash would replace the dollar and would be used to make payments, saved, or used to make investments.
A recently published whitepaper details the pilot program’s results, which include signs that a digital dollar can handle a large number of transactions safely and securely. The pilot managed to process approximately 1.7 million transactions per second at its fastest. By comparison, the current US banking system can only handle 150,000 transactions per second. Clearly, this new CBDC has the technical capacity to replace the existing financial infrastructure.
The group leading Project Hamilton, the MIT Digital Currency Initiative, was funded in part by the MIT Media Lab, which has received contributions from prominent donors including Bill Gates and Jeffrey Epstein. These connections suggest a potential globalist agenda aimed at consolidating power and compromising individual sovereignty. Joi Ito, the former director of the MIT Media Lab, and Bill Gates are reported to have visited Epstein’s infamous island multiple times. Joi Ito stepped down from his position as head of the MIT Media Lab a day after Ronan Farrow’s exposé in the New Yorker, titled ‘How an Elite University Research Center Concealed Its Relationship with Jeffrey Epstein.’
To provide an accurate picture, the full extent of Epstein’s financial involvement with the MIT Media Lab remains opaque. Nonetheless, we have some insights from the New Yorker article:
Epstein was acknowledged for facilitating at least $7.5 million in donations for the lab, which included $2 million from Gates and $5.5 million from [Leon] Black. These contributions were described in emails as being ‘directed’ by Epstein or made at his insistence.
The lab staff’s awareness of Epstein’s involvement was so pervasive that some members of Joi Ito’s office informally referred to Epstein as Voldemort or ‘he who must not be named.’
In a statement, MIT’s president, L. Rafael Reif, expressed regret, stating, ‘In retrospect, we acknowledge with humiliation and distress that our institution contributed to enhancing his prestige, inadvertently helping to deflect attention from his egregious behavior. No expression of regret can reverse that.’
In addition to Epstein’s direct and indirect investments in the MIT Multimedia Lab, as reported by the Washington Post, Epstein also invested $1.2 million for Ito’s own investment funds.
We also know from this Slate article that Joi Ito visited Epstein’s Island as part of the courtship process.
Contrasting with other initiatives, Project Cedar sets its sights on investigating the potential applications and use cases of a CBDC specifically within the context of the wholesale market. This project is a joint venture involving the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, several prominent banking institutions, namely JPMorgan Chase, Bank of New York Mellon, and State Street, along with the BIS and the MIT Media Lab, which also played a role in Project Hamilton.
To better understand, the wholesale market refers to a financial environment where transactions are typically large in scale and high in value, conducted predominantly between financial institutions like banks, businesses, and other financial entities. It’s a behind-the-scenes arena where substantial monetary exchanges take place, far from the realm of individual or retail transactions.
Thus, the primary audience for Project Cedar encompasses the financial institutions and stakeholders who operate within this wholesale market. The goal of the project is to comprehend how a digital dollar could be utilized in this setting, facilitating these significant transactions efficiently, securely, and seamlessly.
As part of the pilot program, Project Cedar scrutinizes numerous aspects of a wholesale CBDC. This includes the technology’s capacity to enable instantaneous, secure settlements between institutions, the potential regulatory challenges that may arise, and the compatibility of the digital dollar with the existing financial infrastructure.
Technically speaking, the pilot program has been successful, paving the way towards the next phase of the project: selling the concept to the public and gaining consensus among central banks.
Regulated Liability Network (RLN)
In addition to Project Cedar (which is in its second pilot phase) the Federal Reserve Bank of New York is also involved in another pilot called the Regulated Liability Network (RLN) that “will participate in a proof-of-concept project to explore the feasibility of an interoperable network of central bank wholesale digital money and commercial bank digital money operating on a shared multi-entity distributed ledger.”
What does this mean, exactly? Imagine a future where every asset you buy (stocks, bonds, homes, cars, electronics, jewelry, etc.) is issued as digital tokens that can be tracked and settled by the government and other third parties through a centralized framework. In addition to being able to censor and freeze your money if you don’t behave the way those in control demand, they can also block the sale and perhaps even the use of your assets.
Imagine that you buy a computer with a CBDC. A digital token is created that is associated with that computer. If you engaged in behavior that the authorities didn’t like, they could track your computer and remotely disable your ability to use it or sell it. In Chapter 1 we discussed how the government could control your UBI based on your social credit score. With something like the RLN, they could also potentially block your ability to sell your car, home, or even impair your ability to use your assets remotely through this type of digital asset tracking and remote monitoring.
Like the other two pilot programs, the RLN pilot has ties to globalist organizations including the BIS and the MIT Media Lab (who is involved with all 3 CBDC pilots).
The RLN pilot is a collaboration between a number of leading financial institutions, regulators, and technology providers. It is a significant step forward in the development of a regulated digital asset ecosystem. – MIT Media Lab
The Throttling of Bitcoin
The opening line of the Bitcoin Whitepaper, which describes Bitcoin’s functionality, states, “A purely peer-to-peer version of electronic cash would allow online payments to be sent directly from one party to another without going through a financial institution.” From its inception, Bitcoin was intended to be an improved form of currency, offering people worldwide the chance to possess ‘sound money’ that could be spent at any time and anywhere. With negligible transaction costs—a mere fraction of a penny—funds could be transferred almost instantaneously.
However, in 2017, Bitcoin underwent significant changes that rendered it virtually useless as money. During that year, Bitcoin faced substantial growing pains, resulting in high transaction fees and delays. The Bitcoin community was embroiled in an intense debate on how to scale the network to manage the rising volume of transactions. Key figures in this debate included developers who received indirect funding from Joi Ito of the MIT Multimedia Lab, coinciding with Jeffrey Epstein’s first and sole interview about Bitcoin. Here is what we understand about Bitcoin’s state in 2017:
- High Fees and Transaction Delays: Bitcoin’s transaction fees soared amid the congestion of 2017. In December of that year, the average transaction fee hit a peak of approximately $55, a stark increase from the sub-dollar fees seen the previous year. The network also suffered from severe delays; transactions that should have been confirmed within about 10 minutes could take hours or even days, particularly if the attached fee was insufficient to incentivize miners.
- Specific Example of Transaction Issues: The 2017 holiday season exemplified these problems. The surge in transaction volume led to significant delays and exorbitant fees for many users. Here are some actual tweets from disappointed users from late 2017.
– @ChrisPacia Bitcoin fee for median size tx = $30.72 Dec 20, 2017
– @beijingbitcoins Bitcoin Core’s average transaction fee has gone up nearly 600% in the last two weeks alone. This isn’t sustainable. Dec 21, 2017
– @ErikVoorhees At $40 fee, we’re well past coffee. Even a $250 purchase now doesn’t make sense with Bitcoin.Dec 21, 2017
- Impact on Retailers and Websites: The impractical transaction conditions caused numerous large retailers and websites to reconsider or cease accepting Bitcoin as a payment method. Notably:
– Steam: A popular platform for digital game distribution, stopped accepting Bitcoin in December 2017 due to high fees and volatility.
– Stripe: A payment processing company, ended Bitcoin support in April 2018, citing slow transaction times, high fees, and fewer use cases. Here is a direct quote from Stripe explaining their decision to stop using Bitcoin for payments: “Over the past year or two, as block size limits have been reached, Bitcoin has evolved to become better-suited to being an asset than being a means of exchange. Given the overall success that the Bitcoin community has achieved, it’s hard to quibble with the decisions that have been made along the way. (And we’re certainly happy to see any novel, ambitious project do so well.) But it’s no longer feasible to support Bitcoin as a payment option.”
– Microsoft: Temporarily halted Bitcoin payments in January 2018, citing the same concerns as other companies. They later resumed Bitcoin support.
– Fiverr: An online marketplace for freelance services, stopped accepting Bitcoin in February 2018 due to the high fees and slow transaction times.
– Expedia: A travel booking website, stopped accepting Bitcoin in June 2018, citing the same reasons as other companies.
– Reddit: The popular online forum stopped accepting Bitcoin payments for Reddit Gold in March 2018, citing the high fees and transaction times.
- Influence of Joi Ito and the MIT Media Lab: Joi Ito, as the director of the MIT Media Lab, influenced the Bitcoin community through the lab’s Digital Currency Initiative (DCI). The DCI was engaged in a variety of cryptocurrency-related research and development projects. Joi Ito’s association with Digital Garage, which funded the DCI, meant that he indirectly affected Bitcoin’s development. The DCI supported prominent Bitcoin core developers like Wladimir van der Laan and Cory Fields, who played critical roles in updating and refining Bitcoin’s codebase, including the implementation of Segregated Witness (SegWit). I won’t go into detail about SegWit in this article, but will just say briefly that SegWit was a technical change that was critical in transforming Bitcoin from a medium of exchange (digital cash) to a store of value (digital gold).
- Jeffrey Epstein’s Public Comments on Bitcoin in 2017: Against the backdrop of Bitcoin’s scaling issues and the involvement of Joi Ito and the MIT Media Lab’s DCI, the article “Billionaire financier weighs in on the future of Bitcoin” by Dylan Love, published by the Next Web on October 10, 2017, takes on added significance. Jeffrey Epstein’s portrayal of Bitcoin as more of a store of value than a currency reflects the shifting narrative of Bitcoin’s identity during this period—a change concurrent with SegWit’s implementation and the scaling debates. This shift aligns with the period during which the MIT Media Lab, indirectly funded by Epstein, was involved in Bitcoin’s development, leading to speculative links about Epstein’s potential impact on Bitcoin’s evolution.
The developments in 2017 underscored Bitcoin’s scalability challenges and set off a search for resolutions. Although SegWit was introduced to address some of these issues, the debate over Bitcoin’s scalability endures, with the community still seeking sustainable solutions to manage an increasing transaction volume effectively.
What Does All This Mean?
Here’s the crux of the situation:
- The Federal Reserve has executed three successful CBDC pilots in partnership with the MIT Media Lab.
- Joi Ito, Chair of the MIT Multimedia Lab, received funding directly from Jeffrey Epstein and also from other sources, such as Bill Gates, via Epstein. Many of these contributions were marked as anonymous.
- Concurrently, the DCI provided funds for developers like Wladimir van der Laan and Cory Fields, whose modifications transformed Bitcoin from a peer-to-peer digital cash system to a store of value.
- At the same time, Jeffrey Epstein made his only public remarks about Bitcoin, explicitly referring to it as a store of value rather than a currency.
- Following the release of the New Yorker story detailing Ito’s involvement with Epstein, Ito resigned within a day. In response, MIT revised its policies and pledged to donate an amount equivalent to the funds received from any Epstein foundation to a charity that supports victims of sexual abuse.
Do we have conclusive evidence linking Epstein’s funding directly to the CBDC pilots or to the transformation of Bitcoin from a medium of exchange to a store of value? No, not directly. In fact, most of the CBDC pilots began after Epstein was arrested for the last time on July 6, 2019. I doubt Epstein had any involvement with Project Cedar or Regulated Liability Network. However, Project Hamilton was announced in 2020 (presumably the funding was lined up prior to announcement).
Nonetheless, it is evident that Americans should be wary of the progress in CBDC development, President Biden’s intentions to implement them, and maintain a healthy skepticism regarding the intentions and involvement of Joi Ito, the MIT Multimedia Lab, and Jeffrey Epstein concerning both the deployment of CBDCs and the restriction of Bitcoin’s capabilities.
I intend to further investigate the specific area of Epstein’s potential funding of Project Hamilton (which replaces cash) as well as SegWit (which transformed Bitcoin from digital cash to digital gold). Just as Bitcoin was gaining in adoption as an alternative to the dollar, it was throttled. Shortly thereafter, a project was launched to create a government-controlled CBDC alternative. Certainly topics worthy of more investigation.
To go in depth on many of these topics, check out my book, The Final Countdown. It outlines a potential dystopian future shaped by CBDCs and social credit systems. It discusses the global progression of CBDCs, the impending collapse of the dollar and fiat currency at large, and presents tangible measures to avert CBDCs by adopting and utilizing self-custody cryptocurrencies, gold, and silver for transactions within a parallel economy.