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Roth: The truth about the IMF and a universal CBDC
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Roth: The truth about the IMF and a universal CBDC

Over the weekend, social media was abuzz with headlines such as, “IMF Unveils New Global Currency Known as the ‘Universal Monetary Unit’ to ‘Transform’ World Economy.” As Glenn Beck and I have been warning about for some time, a U.S.-based central bank digital currency, such as a digital dollar, would be an absolute nightmare and the end of freedom and wealth creation opportunities in America. Having a global CBDC would be tyranny on an unprecedented level and the ultimate horror.

So it is understandable that many of us were concerned about this possible development.

But what is really going on, and what do you need to be aware of? Here’s what I found.

Did the IMF unveil a CBDC?

The short answer is no. Last week, the IMF had its spring meeting. A group called the Digital Currency Monetary Authority took the opportunity to launch its Universal Monetary Unit or UMU at the meeting and leveraged that for PR. The group's own press release states, "Although the IMF has not officially endorsed Universal Monetary Unit, in reviewing the DCMA's Whitepaper and in weekly team discussions, the IMF has yet to state any objections to UMU's FX premium rates and its monetary sovereignty approach."

So this is not an IMF project, but the IMF hasn’t rejected it either.

The press release also intimates the involvement at some level of “several sovereign states” without noting which ones. So this seems like a PR stunt (which worked!), but it also doesn’t mean there aren’t concerns. Keep reading.

Is what was proposed a CBDC?

The short answer again is no. According to the site BeInCrypto, “It is important to note that UMU (or Unicoin) will not be a central bank digital currency in the traditional sense. At least not in the foreseeable future. It is intended to function ‘like a CBDC.’ However, it is legally a money commodity.”

There is intentional conflation between various aspects of digital currency. Like many of the traditional monetary products and descriptive phrases intended to be opaque, the same is happening in the digital space. Central banks are trying to conflate CBDC with Bitcoin to gain acceptance. It sounds like there’s some conflation going on here. However, the group has high aspirations, so it is definitely something to keep an eye on.

BeInCrypto noted that this project doesn’t currently have “buy-in” from central banks. The article also elaborated on the press release’s statement that the organization has drafted a law in collaboration with various partners. It noted, “There are currently no confirmed partners, and the DCMA was not able to confirm which economies it has been working with. ‘The DCMA is under NDA with these economies,’ said Hubbard. ‘However, our access is either central bank governors or finance ministers. I can disclose our largest commitments are with the African Union, who are introducing us to all governors on the continent.’”

What is the DCMA?

This is also fairly opaque. Darrell Hubbard, who was described in the press release about the project as “the Executive Director of the DCMA, and the chief architect of UMU” seems to be the main name attached to the organization (other than service providers).

Hubbard’s LinkedIn profile states, “Over the past several years I have dedicated my talents to Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) and digital currencies. I have collaborated with or completed projects for the European Union, the People's Bank of China, South Korea, and other central banks around the world.”

Hubbard’s member profile with the Global Blockchain Association states, “His work is featured by the European Commission, the United Nations, and the World Economic Forum.”

In his interview with BeInCrypto, Hubbard told the site that the group considers itself a monetary authority. He said, “UMU is our monetary asset, and we back it … meaning, you can always redeem the value from us for the value paid to us. That’s the role of a monetary authority.”

At the time of writing, the DCMA’s website featured a picture of its UMU between pictures of the flags of the U.S. and China.

Given the links and history of the organization’s founder, this is all worth keeping an eye on.

Is the IMF looking at universal CBDC?

So, given the above, does this mean we are out of the woods on the IMF considering a universal CBDC or similar currency? Absolutely not.

A 2020 whitepaper from the IMF, “Reserve Currencies in an Evolving International Monetary System,” discusses how a universal currency could change the dollar-dominant landscape. “US dollar dominance is likely to endure. But historical precedents of sudden changes suggest that new developments, such as the emergence of digital currencies and new payments ecosystems, could accelerate the transition to a new landscape of reserve currencies.” It notes, “Recently, the idea of a universal CBDC has also gained prominence.”

It talks about a synthetic hegemonic currency, which is a phrase attributed to Mark Carney, who was governor of the Bank of Canada and governor of the Bank of England. An article in Decrypt said, “Carney has previously said that a ‘synthetic hegemonic currency’ (SHC) — a single currency used by a number of countries around the world — could be ‘the best way to ‘dampen the domineering influence of the US dollar on global trade.’”

Carney is currently the United Nations Special Envoy for Climate Action and Finance and a member of the World Economic Forum.

So the IMF and other entities are certainly envisioning how a scenario for a universal currency might come about.

The bottom line is that there are lots of entities looking to create a new financial world order and control the resources in the new era. You must personally stay on top of what is happening, push back where you can, and personally make sure that you have a portion of your wealth in a form factor that you can control.

Whether it is the Fed, the IMF, or otherwise, whoever controls the money controls your access to opportunities, your ability to access goods and services, and ultimately your life.

Carol Roth's new book, “You Will Own Nothing,” is available for pre-order now.

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Carol Roth

Carol Roth


Carol Roth is a recovering investment banker, the New York Times best-selling author of “You Will Own Nothing,” and a business adviser.
@CarolJSRoth →