BusinessCivil LibertiesDemocracyEconomyEuropeFeaturesFinanceGlobal IssuesPoliticsSocietyWorld

Digital currencies, Dimitra, and civil liberties

The pre-election climate in Greece is “electrified” and the dialogue extends to the creation of a monetary policy centered on a central bank digital currency (CBDC) payment system, such as the one called Dimitra which is proposed by MeRA25.

  • George C. Bitros and Steve Bakalis *

The debate on these parallel banking digital currencies under the control of central banks and cryptocurrencies has taken on a global dimension.

Most people tend to think that CBDCs and cryptocurrencies are the same thing, when in fact the two are opposites.

Today, more than 95% of transactions in digitally advanced countries are done with electronic money issued by central banks and cash also issued by central banks, but it is only cash which ensures the freedom of transactions, the civil liberties, and ultimately our democratic values. With CBDCs under the control of the central authorities these freedoms become eroded, whatever they decide is accepted, with an expiration date whenever they decide, and in whatever transactions they allow to take form. Conversely, like cash, cryptocurrencies ensure the ultimate privacy and freedom, resulting in total anonymity.

The reaction towards such loss of civil liberties in Australia was exemplified by the abolition of the cashless debit card for pensioners, which was one of the pre-election commitments of the current Labor government. Voters found the cashless debit card stigmatizing and often making participants’ lives more difficult because they can’t access a cash economy.

As for the prospects of limiting tax evasion and crime by Dimitra, it is worth mentioning that tax evasion also holds well under the surveillance of the Tax Fraud Police, where citizens for years have been urged to provide information or report illegal and indirect actions or activities against the economy, public property, as well as social and social welfare and rights. So Dimitra, and every Dimitra in the global landscape, becomes another form of policing.

And let’s not forget Plato’s saying that “good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws.”

It is only cash which ensures the freedom of transactions, civil liberties, and ultimately our democratic values

Furthermore, the proposals for a Dimitra kind of CDBC in as far as they concern the lame Greek democracy are as mythical as the myth of Stalinist communism that condemned Russia and Eastern European countries to absolute poverty for 70 years.

China forged another path by abandoning this particular type of communism, after Mao, and can now be counted as a superpower. But time will tell if their approach of wisdom will succeed in overcoming the inferiority of a central government system.

In short, a cryptocurrency is a libertarian currency, while a CBDC verges on being a slave currency. Unfortunately, nothing seems to be able to slow down, if not reverse in Western-style democracies, the forces of evil pushing towards subservience, and the related predictions of Hayek and Orwell are being realized at an uncontrollable speed.

That is why we freedom-loving citizens must be on alert.

  • George C. Bitros is emeritus professor of political economy at the Athens University of Economics and Business (
  • Steve Bakalis is a retired academic of economics, Victoria University, Australia.
  • The article is also published by ekathimerini 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Back to top button