Rich Checkan, the president of Asset Strategies International (ASI) has described central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) as a product that was “concocted in hell by Satan himself.”
ASI was founded in 1982 and deals in alternative assets such as precious metals, foreign currencies and pre-1933 U.S. gold coins, and offers a precious metals trading platform.
Speaking during an interview with streaming financial news provider Kitco News on July 27, Checkan slammed CBDCs due to the threat they posed to individual privacy, noting they give the state the ability to monitor every transaction you make and track your entire life.
“I think central bank digital currencies were concocted in hell by Satan himself,” he said, and asserted that they will give governments an incredible control “over everybody’s bank accounts” which will “create a void of privacy for every individual citizen.”
The U.S. is behind the curve on CBDC rollout in comparison to China, which has already deployed widespread trials of the digital yuan in its financial system. However, the Federal Reserve has warmed up to the idea in 2021, and is currently in the process of researching the risks and benefits associated with adopting a CBDC.
During the interview, Checkan was asked if he thought Bitcoin posed a threat to fiat currency and CBDCs. The ASI president stated that it’s too early to tell as he thinks Bitcoin has performed as a speculative asset so far, but hasn’t been tested enough as a currency to become a threat to the dollar yet.
“It’s not a threat, one of the options for Bitcoin is to be a form of currency, but there’s not widespread adoption and penetration […] so we really haven’t tested that model. Which is why I think it’s partially acting as a speculative asset.”
“I think we need deeper penetration and then we will see, if it becomes a threat, what the government is capable of doing to hold onto its power position,” he added.
Unlike other figures in the precious metals sector, who are often pro-gold and anti-crypto, Checkan stated that there is a place for both, as he thinks they perform a “different function for your portfolio.”
Checken views gold as a store of value and advocates allocating 10% of portfolios to the asset. He views Bitcoin as a speculative asset that may become a store of value in the future and suggests a 1% to 2% allocation in a portfolio, with regular cash outs to bank profits.