Yesterday you might recall I blogged about the latest gimick of the Central Banksters in their push for Central Bank Digitial Currencies (CBDCs) being programmable digital currencies, a technology effectively giving them control not only on how the "money" is spent, but also the value of that money, on a case-by-case basis. In that blog I pointed out that the problem with such a system is its reliance on electronic technology.
Imagine, say, a hardware store in the 1930s, and the power suddenly goes out just as customers are lined up at the cash register to make some purchases. It's no problem for our hardware store owner. He simply lights a kerosene lamp or two from his inventory, rings up the purchases into his hand-crank cash registers, and takes the money and counts back the change. Imagine the same hardware store owner in, say, 2030. The power goes out, his cash register is down and unable to function, so he lights his kerosene lamps, gets out his abacus, calculates the total costs of purchases, but no one can buy anything because the power is down system wide. A few hours later, the power is back on (temporarily, because the energy used by the central banks for their digital currencies is consuming a lot of power). People line up to purchase kerosene lamps to light their homes, only to discover that they are not allowed to purchase the kerosene lamps because, after all, these are signs that the purchasers might be "preppers" and planning some sort of "insurrection."
You get the idea.
Well, it seems in a certain sense the latter scenario is already happening, according to this article shared by B.:
There’s never a good time for your bank’s IT system to go down. But few can be worse than in the middle of a lockdown. It’s difficult to leave home, your local branch may not be open, and as a result you are more reliant than ever on digital banking services. In New Zealand, now in its seventh week of nationwide lockdown, one of the country’s largest lenders, Kiwibank, went down on Tuesday, leaving many of its customers in the lurch. It is one of a string of IT outages the bank has suffered over the past three weeks, after a DDoS attack on New Zealand’s third largest Internet provider caused IT crashes at a number of lenders, including Commonwealth Bank and Anz Bank.
In a DDoS attack hackers overwhelm a site by getting huge numbers of bots to connect to it all at once, rendering it inaccessible. Servers are not breached, data is not stolen but it can still cause plenty of disruption.
New Zealand is not the only country to have suffered major outages within its banking system in recent weeks. Other countries include the UK, Japan, South Africa, Venezuela and Mexico, though there are no doubt more (if you know of any, It would be great if you could provide details in the comments section).
On September 12, operating failures at Mexico’s largest bank, BBVA Mexico, left 24 million account holders unable to use the bank’s 13,000 ATMs, its mobile app or in-store payments for almost 20 hours. It being a Sunday, customers could not even avail of the lender’s in-branch cash services. The bank blamed the outage on a system update failure and has offered to compensate customers with cash bonuses on purchases when using their credit or debit cards. The bank was also at pains to assure them that their financial data was not compromised.
“It had nothing to do with the outside world,” said Jorge Terrazas, the bank’s director of communicate and corporate identity. “The bank and its customers’ information is secure. What we did was undo the changes to the system and return everything to as it was.”
Less than a week after BBVA’s outage, Santander Mexico, another Spanish-owned Mexican bank, suffered an outage that left customers across the country unable to use their debit cards at the ATM or in stores. Again, it was blamed on internal problems
Almost 5,000 miles away from the UK, on the other side of the Atlantic, 16 million customers of Venezuela’s biggest bank, Banco de Venezuela, had to recently endure five days without the bank’s online platform. As tends to happen in these cases, the outage became apparent when bank customers began venting their anger on social media. When the platform was finally restored, on September 20, Venezuela’s vice president Delcy Rodríguez laid the blame on the US government, which she accused of launching an “intense and aggressive” cyber attack against the bank’s IT system.
The attack was apparently an attempt to derail Caracas’ plans to launch a new currency, which went live today (Oct 1) with six fewer zeros. Whether Rodríguez’ allegations are true or not it’s impossible to tell, but Washington certainly has the capability and form. Plus, it is engaged in a no holds-barred economic war against Venezuela.
Sometimes it’s the frequency rather than the duration of the outages that is the biggest problem for bank customers. Yesterday (September 30) Mizuho Bank, one of Japan’s three mega banks, experienced its eighth IT system failure so far this year — almost one every month. In the latest episode a system glitch caused a delay to some foreign exchange transactions. The system outages at Mizuho date back almost two decades and have been broadly blamed on its failure to integrate cultures and systems from the three-way merger of Dai-ichi Kangyo Bank, Fuji Bank, and IBJ that brought the bank into existence, all of 21 years ago. The bank has already spent $3.6 billion trying to fix the problems, but to little apparent avail. (Boldface emphasis added_
Note the implication of the emphasized portion: denial of service attacks can be used as a tool of economic and financial warfare, not only by countries, but presumably by banks. And with this in mind, ask yourself a simple question: do you still think digital currencies, and especially central bank digital currencies, are a good idea?
For me the answer is a definite and resounding NO, and I actually wonder if, with all these outages, someone might be trying to send that message...
See you on the flip side...