2016 has been the ‘Year of the Blockchain,’ with corporation after corporation, even nations, touting their interest and ability to use Bitcoin’s underlying advancement in their future business models. Will 2017 be the ‘Year of the National Digital Currency?’ Ukraine looks to enter the cashless society with a plan on creating their own national digital currency based on the Blockchain technology, according to Ukrainian news site Ukrinform.

Blockchain, the trend in 2016

Major corporations like IBM, and even nations, embracing the Blockchain technology is what’s happening right now, and it takes courage to be on the cutting edge. China recently announced that they would put their entire social security system on a Blockchain. Yet, creating a new national digital currency on its own Blockchain is a house of cards from Futurama. The goal here is abundantly clear, as this comes out of the nation’s Cashless Economy project, tying in with their current national payment service known as the “Ukrainian Payment Space.”

“The NBU, like other world central banks, is considering an opportunity of introducing a digital form of national currency using Blockchain technologies,” reads the report from the National Bank of Ukraine.

Don’t let the qualifier fool you. A central bank doesn’t make an announcement of this nature if the national digital currency isn’t well on its way to seeding their “Cashless Economy.” Late last year, the African country of Tunisia put their national currency on a Blockchain, the first of its kind. Bitcoin and its innovative Blockchain technology are changing the world as we speak, and that may not be a good thing in all circumstances.  

When a nation moves to a cashless society, it sounds great, until you realize that no cash means no privacy and no accountability to the nation’s banks or governments. The ability to obtain and transact in cash is important for citizens because it gives them the ability to divest themselves from the banking institution if their policies, rates, service or fees are no longer competitive. The ability to move to a bank of their choice could be gone forever.

How will you hold a national currency accountable when all of your funds are in their matrix. Will you have to leave the country to avoid direct taxation or mass economic surveillance? A “run on the banks,” when depositors remove their funds all together from a bank in trouble, is the ultimate balance of economic power. Banks and governments remove this power from the people with a closed-loop, fully digital system they control. Plus, this nationwide system can easily be used to monitor and record every financial transaction for ultimate control of the populace. So cash bans are bad news because cash is one of the last bastions of privacy, liberty and personal financial control left.

If you are one who trusts all governments and central banks implicitly to do what is best for all of its citizens economically, then this should be of no concern to you. However, people who use Bitcoin and other decentralized digital currencies rarely fall into that category. How many Bitcoin owners will say “Guess I don’t need Bitcoins anymore, now that my country has gone digital,” my guess is not many.

How many in the mainstream will say that? Too many. Maybe is that the point?