The shadow of 1984 in the era of central bank digital currencies

With the introduction of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), we are entering a new era. It could resemble a dystopian future, as George Orwell predicted in his novel “1984”. But 40 years after his fictional “1984”, i.e. from 2024, things could get much more gloomy if we don't address the dangers that CBDCs pose in time. A guest article by Joe Martin.

In our current financial world, the euro, the dollar and the Swiss franc that we know are a product of banks. They arise as a result of lending and other banking activities. In contrast, the digital central bank euro is an artificial, centralized, and fully regulated currency that can be manipulated at will by the central bank.

Digital central bank money could undermine the division of powers of any democracy and transform it into a system in which a small group has power over our money.


The complete abolition of financial anonymity

With CBDCs, all of your financial activities could be monitored down to the smallest detail. It would be the end of financial anonymity. Whether you're buying a coffee or donating money to a political cause, the central bank and possibly other government agencies could track your every move.


Control as a means of punishment

What's even scarier is that with the implementation of CBDCs, it's possible to withdraw fines directly from your account or even suspend your account. Consider introducing social credit systems that make your financial freedom dependent on your social or political behavior. If you demonstrate against the government or express critical opinions online, you could be directly and immediately punished financially.


The potential downfall of the free market

When control of money is centralized, where is the free market? Companies could be forced to follow certain standards and regulations that are not necessarily in the best interest of the public but serve political or ideological goals. Competition, a cornerstone of our market economy, could suffer as a result.


The vision of 2024

In my recently published novel “2024,” the sequel to “1984,” so to speak, this ominous vision is further developed. It is a world where every citizen is constantly monitored. A world where financial independence is a forgotten concept and where your spending, donations, and investments are constantly being judged and valued. A system in which the freedom to spend money as you please is subject to conditions set by a small elite. A world in which the main actor, who by the way is the son of the main actor from “1984” and experiences first-hand the horror that his father had to endure, in this world, a small group creates totalitarian control and surveillance.


The reality of totalitarian control

The technologies and methods in my novel, which I described with the title “2024", are not fictional or distant. In this sequel to “1984,” the seamless control made possible by central bank digital currencies becomes real.

Winston Smith from “1984” is very aware of the surveillance and begins to become reckless, while his son Winnie is completely surprised by the complete control in 2024.

With digital central bank currencies, surveillance from “2024” will not only be limited to party members as in “1984,” but EVERYONE will be monitored. This seamless control could soon become a reality in our lives. It is up to us to prevent this and not let anyone be surprised by this impending control.


The important role of alternatives

“The digital euro will not achieve the necessary social acceptance,” wrote the German banking associations in a letter to the Ministry of Finance. That is no problem, because as long as there are alternative payment options, the digital euro remains just an alternative path.  

But what if politicians shut down or ban all other payment systems? What if cash runs out and credit cards and PayPal are banned? People then use the digital euro because it receives the necessary social acceptance or must be accepted by force, and the totalitarian state of control and surveillance is established!


Bitcoin: The light at the end of the Tunnel

In this grim scenario, Bitcoin appears as a glimmer of hope. A decentralized payment system that is not controlled by a central bank or government. It offers financial freedom, privacy, and independence at a time when these concepts are threatened.

With Bitcoin, financial transactions are secure and private. There is no central body that monitors or evaluates your spending. They don't depend on the favor of a bank or government to carry out transactions. And more importantly, Bitcoin can't simply be shut down. It is a decentralized network that is operated by thousands of nodes worldwide.

But Bitcoin is more than just a digital currency. It is also a movement that stands for financial sovereignty and freedom. In a world where power over money is becoming increasingly centralized, Bitcoin represents a much-needed alternative.


We must remain alert

The dangers associated with CBDCs are real and far-reaching. The novel “2024" serves as a cautionary metaphor for what could happen if we embark on the path of complete control and surveillance. In contrast, Bitcoin stands for freedom, privacy and the right to decide for yourself over your own money.

While CBDCs could lead the world into a dystopian age, Bitcoin offers an alternative that respects and promotes people's freedom and rights. It is a model that we should seriously consider if we don't want to find ourselves in a scenario that even George Orwell could not have foreseen.


2024 — How digital central bank money threatens our freedom

Joe Martin's new book will be released on 21.08.2023 and can now be pre-ordered from Copiaro: or from Switzerland via


About the author

Joe Martin

Joe Martin is a sought-after author and speaker who can present complex relationships in an understandable way. His books, lectures and coaching enable many interested parties to understand economics and money, Bitcoin and blockchain. He is also a popular interviewee and speaker and regularly trains companies and banks.

He has advised and trained the first cooperative bank in Europe, which since April 2021 has allowed its customers to obtain Bitcoin information, purchase Bitcoin and store Bitcoin within legal regulations. This pioneering work enables banks and companies to use and understand Bitcoin.



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