How much are your eyeballs worth?
In Kenya, they cost about $60.
That may not sound like a lot to the average American.
But in Kenya, the average daily earnings are about $3.20. So $60 is about a month’s worth of labor. For an American, that’d be about $6,200.
I know selling eyeballs for $60 − or even $6,200 − sounds like it’s straight out a science fiction movie. But in this case, the truth is stranger than fiction.
You see, a new crypto project called Worldcoin aims to use retinal data as a means of identification.
Worldcoin launched on July 24, and it already has over 2 million users.
Its goal? To unite everyone on Earth with a single payment system.
Now, there’s some merit to Worldcoin’s goal…
The World Bank estimates that 1.4 billion adults worldwide are unbanked.
Worldcoin would provide universal access to the global economy for the unbanked − with zero governmental restrictions.
But here’s the drawback: You’re providing personal information and putting it in a system outside your control.
Providing a retinal scan as a form of ID to a third party is a huge threat to your privacy.
In Kenya, Worldcoin is paying $60 worth of its token to users for their data.
Do you really want to give the government or a private company access to your most intimate biometric data?
To me, that data is mine and mine alone. It’s priceless. And an offer for even $6,200 is insulting.
We live in a world where our personal data is constantly under attack from hackers and misused by private companies and governments.
In 2022 alone, over 1,800 separate data breaches occurred, impacting over 400 million users. IBM reports that every one of those breaches costs an average of $4.45 million.
That’s $8 billion annually – and rising.
Here’s why I’m telling you this…
Worldcoin is the latest example pointing toward a disturbing trend we’ve been covering for months: the rise of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs).
In today’s essay, we’ll look at how Worldcoin is laying the groundwork for the way governments will launch CBDCs.
Just like Worldcoin is paying users for their retinal data, governments will bribe you to get into the CBDC system. And they’ll be able to track your personal financial data as a result.
Fortunately, we know of the single best place to protect your privacy and wealth, and potentially profit from the CBDC trend…
Public or Private, Your Financial Privacy Is Under Attack
Worldcoin is a private cryptocurrency. So you don’t have to use it if you don’t want to.
But there’s a new monetary regime coming that we can’t escape: CBDCs. These are digital versions of fiat currency – like a digital dollar.
According to the Atlantic Council, 130 countries are working on or adopting a CBDC – including the United States, Canada, and China. That’s 98% of the global economy.
China’s pilot program for its digital yuan is the best known. That’s because it launched during the 2022 Beijing Olympics, and it already has 260 million users.
Similarly, countries like the Bahamas have already launched a fully formed CBDC. And earlier this month, the Bank of England announced it’s forming a CBDC advisory group.
Plus, the U.S. has already launched FedNow. It’s the Federal Reserve’s new payment network.
It’s not quite a CBDC − yet. But it could act as a first test before a full-fledged U.S. CBDC.
Just like with Worldcoin, there are some advantages to CBDCs.
For example, they offer instant settlement times. That eliminates the headache of waiting for a wire transfer or check to clear.
Governments are highlighting this positive… while hiding the dark underbelly of CBDCs.
What governments don’t want to tell you is CBDCs are programmable money.
That means anyone can track all your transactions in real time. If you’re interested in preserving your financial freedom, that’s a potential nightmare.
We’ve already seen similar concerns about Worldcoin. For instance, MIT criticized Worldcoin for its intrusive data gathering.
The project collects people’s biometric data without fully explaining how it will use that information.
Worldcoin dangled a carrot in front of poor people who need the money: Give us your eyeballs and get $60 worth of the crypto.
That’s similar to how Nigeria rolled out a CBDC by offering a discount on taxi rides.
Kenya’s Interior Minister Kithure Kindiki agreed that Worldcoin’s practice was unethical… And he ordered Worldcoin to shut down operations in the country until it reveals the details of how it will use the personal data.
And Foreign Minister Alfred Mutua stated, “Let us support the stoppage of Kenyans being used as guinea pigs and their data being harvested.”
But governments likely already have a spotlight on these “guinea pigs”…
How to Protect Your Financial Freedom
I wouldn’t be surprised if countries developing a CBDC are observing Worldcoin. They’ll learn what works and what doesn’t.
Unlike a CBDC, Worldcoin is voluntary. You don’t have to use it.
If a country launches a CBDC, at first it may bribe you with monetary rewards to increase adoption. But eventually, you’ll have no choice but to use it.
One way to protect yourself from CBDCs is to put a portion of your wealth outside of the system by buying bitcoin.
Bitcoin is decentralized. It can only be reprogrammed with majority consensus of the network.
Bitcoin is permissionless. That means you don’t need anyone’s permission to use it.
Bitcoin is pseudonymous. That means you don’t need to provide your personal information to use it. (However, bitcoin isn’t anonymous. While your bitcoin address isn’t linked to your personal information, someone can still track your bitcoin transactions and potentially uncover personal details over time.)
Best of all, bitcoin’s hard cap of 21 million total coins ensures scarcity in the digital world. That’s why bitcoin still has tremendous upside potential in the years ahead.
Bitcoin is great for preserving and growing your wealth, and securing your financial privacy outside of a CBDC system. And it doesn’t request any of your private data,
As more governments seek to direct their citizens into more restrictive forms of money such as CBDCs, we anticipate the price of bitcoin will soar higher.
Another way to profit from the arrival of CBDCs is to invest in altcoins working to develop better payment systems that don’t rely on personal data.
We own one such token in The Palm Beach Letter. It’s a decentralized finance crypto working on cross-border payment options. (Palm Beach Letter subscribers can read the playbook right here.)
The token is just one play we’ve made to profit from the latest CBDC developments. It’s already started to move higher. In fact, it’s up over 50% since we added it in June.
There are likely bigger gains ahead for it and others during the next crypto bull market.
Like it or not, CBDCs are here.
In time, the government may try and bribe people to begin adopting the currency. And then it can begin tracking users’ private financial data… just like Worldcoin tried to pull off in Kenya.
Get upset if you want… But first, protect yourself by putting a portion of your wealth in truly decentralized cryptos like bitcoin.
Until next time, safe investing!
Analyst, Palm Beach Daily
P.S. Daily editor Teeka Tiwari recently put together a new playbook to show you how to profit from the potential rollout of a digital dollar.
The playbook includes the name of a crypto project that could move the needle on your net worth.
Because this single idea would give you direct exposure to the blockchain technology designed for CBDCs.
And you can get started with less than a quarter. That means that if it jumps by just 25 cents, you’d more than double your money.