The core problems of Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) have been addressed many times here, but it may bear repeating these two facts - First, in a cashless society all privacy in trade is lost, and second, banks and governments will control access to all of your money. If such a system is allowed, it will act as a major stepping stone to technocratic authoritarianism. It's inevitable.
The Australian government and central bank have been involved in a beta test for the past year with the proliferation of CBDCs in mind. Their partnership projects with the Bank for International Settlements and pilot programs with companies like Mastercard are about to wrap up this fall, and it looks as though Aussie bureaucrats are planning to implement their cashless system very quickly after the trial run is finished.
In defense of CBDCs officials suggest that Australians are already shifting into a cashless society, citing the fact that the population went from 32% using cash to only 16% using cash in the span of three years. Of course, what they don't mention is that Australia's aggressive and draconian covid lockdowns and mandates since 2020 pushed the public into relying more on digital and online purchases.
Already, the top four banks in the country are removing over the counter cash withdrawals at most of their branches. "Special centers" will be put in place for "more complex banking needs including cash" but the overall trend will be the reduction of paper money, forcing the populace to go fully digital.
The use of CBDCs by the establishment to control the flow of money is tied directly to social engineering programs. As members of the World Economic Forum have openly admitted, governments could program CBDC usage to prevent purchases of items they deem to have a negative social impact. These restricted items could be anything from ammunition to meat. In other words, they don't have to officially "ban" certain products, all they have to do is make it impossible to buy them.
But the micromanagement goes well beyond this. There are plans to make CBDCs that "time out," compelling the public to spend them before they expire. There is also the issue of social credit scoring, which has been established in China and is creeping into western institutions. What if one day the powers-that-be decide that certain speech and certain beliefs cause "harm" to the greater collective and must be suppressed through monetary penalties? This could result in limitations on how you can use your bank account everytime you make a comment they don't like on social media. Or, it could result in your account being frozen for a period of time until you publicly apologize for your statements.
It makes sense that Australia would be one of the first western nations to adopt the cashless structure. The government was rather successful in enforcing extreme covid lockdowns with minimal public resistance, to the point that citizens in cities were under house arrest and were not even allowed to go to the parks or beaches in many cases. It's likely the the establishment sees Australians as an easy target for the first volley of cashless controls.