The central bank’s digital money is said to be able to fully control where, when, and what people spend their money on. According to Ajuloputus, the central bank can become digital money also an expiration date that makes it impossible to collect money.

„Ajuloputus“ (translates to „Brainwashing“) is a social media movement created by Angela Absalon and Lisandra Helena Tõlk, that repeatedly distributes false information and conspiracy theories.

According to Facebook, Ajuloputus and other posts with the same content have been shared 514 times.

The facts

  • Central bank digital money is being developed and tested in most countries of the world, both democratic and autocratic. Although some of Ajuloputus’s claims may apply in autocratic countries (e.g. China), generalizations cannot be made about all digital currencies planned by other countries. These statements do not apply to the digital euro being developed in Europe.

  • Currently, cash is the only available central bank money in the euro area. The digital euro would be added to cash and would also give the euro a digital form.

  • Neither the European Central Bank nor the central banks of the euro area countries would know who the users of the digital euro are and what the digital euro is used for, just as the central bank does not know who the users of cash are and what it is used for.

  • Since the central bank’s digital money is not programmable money, it also has no expiration date.

Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) means that the central bank issues money in digital form and can be used in the same way as cash. The central bank’s digital money is made available by banks and other payment service providers.

As of March 2024, digital central bank money is in development or testing in more than 130 countries around the world, accounting for 98% of global GDP. Some countries, such as Nigeria and Jamaica, already have central bank digital money in circulation.

The European Central Bank, together with other euro area central banks, is considering putting the euro into circulation in digital form in addition to coins and paper money. Payments could also be made digitally with money issued by the Central Bank. Currently, a possible future digital euro is still being designed and tested, and it is not known whether member states will adopt it at all.

According to Egert Juuse, a researcher at TalTech’s Ragnar Nurkse Institute of Innovation and Governance, some of Ajuloputus’s claims may be valid or have found application in autocratic countries (such as China) that also use a social credit system. This means that the state can centrally control what and how the money is spent.

„However, one or two deviant countries cannot make generalizations about the digital currencies of all (democratic) countries,“ added Nurkse.

With the possible arrival of the digital euro, cash will not disappear

Head of Eesti Pank’s payment and settlement systems department, Rainer Olt, confirmed to Faktikontrolli that the goal of introducing the digital euro, which is being developed in Europe, is not to lose cash.

„On the contrary, the legislators of the European Union want to maintain the role of cash as a means of payment, because the use of cash for payments is decreasing and there are points of sale where it is no longer possible to pay in cash. Therefore, together with the draft law enabling the digital euro to be put into circulation, there is also a draft on euro cash as a legal tender,“ said Olt.

According to Olt, the purpose of this bill is to ensure that cash remains available to people and businesses throughout the euro area and that it is possible to pay in cash if desired. As long as there is a demand for cash in society, central banks will supply it.

Digieuro does not allow people to be „fully controlled“

Digieuro on designed from the beginning based on the principles of privacy. „Neither the European Central Bank nor national central banks would know who are the users of the digital euro and what it is used for, just as the central bank does not know who are the users of cash and what the cash is used for,“ said Olt.

According to Olt, to use a digital euro, it would be necessary to contact a commercial bank, where the person is not asked for more information than when opening an account in a commercial bank or making a digital payment. In the case of network-based digital euro payment transactions, the same rules for data protection, ensuring privacy, and prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing are followed for digital payment instruments in the private sector. In the case of payments without an internet connection, the transaction data would only be available to the payer and the recipient.

Central bank digital money is not „programmed for humans“ and has no expiration date

The digital euro proposed by the European Central Bank is not programmable money. The digital euro would work in the same way as euro cash. Since the digital euro is not programmable money, it also has no validity period.

It will take years before the possible introduction of the digital euro

The European Central Bank develops and tests the digital euro in cooperation with the central banks of all euro area countries. Only when the European Parliament and the Council have accepted the proposal, the Council of the European Central Bank can decide to introduce the digital euro. Eesti Pank reportedly it would take several more years.

There is a lot of misinformation about central bank digital money spreading around the world, which is mostly associated with the Great Reset conspiracy theory. International fact-checking publications are tied to central bank digital money false information repeatedly around pushed.

Verdict: No context. Central bank digital money is under development in more than 130 countries around the world, both autocratic and democratic. Although some autocratic countries may use central bank digital money to control citizens, generalizations cannot be made based on this about all digital currencies, including those of democratic countries. Ajuloputus statements about the digital euro being developed in Europe are not valid.