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Are CBDCs quantum safe? | Amnon Samid | VOX Ep. 80

Digital-money pioneer Amnon Samid argues CBDC projects based on DLT are on the wrong track.



Amnon Samid, BitMint

Amnon Samid is CEO of BitMint, a company that has been pioneering “quantum-safe” mobile payments and digital money. Samid has been researching central-bank digital currencies (CBDCs) for many years and believes most of these projects are on the wrong track.

Why? Mainly because they rely on blockchain or distributed-ledger tech (DLT), which Samid says will soon be cryptographically compromised by the power of quantum computers. The rapid developments in artificial intelligence pose another threat.

Samid is a passionate advocate for central banks to secure digital cash as token- or value-based digital representations, instead of designing systems that rely on traditional accounts as used by the commercial banking system.

  • Timecodes:
  • 0:00 – Amnon Samid, BitMint
  • 1:46 – Pioneering mobile money, before bitcoin, before WeChat!
  • 5:36 – Emergence of CBDCs, wrong turns, “pilots are pointless”, and account-based digital cash versus token-based
  • 8:52 – Why central banks are pursuing account-based CBDC solutions
  • 12:43 – Lessons from CBDC pilots, security risks, and why DLT/blockchain solutions are a mistake
  • 16:49 – Why DLT correlates to security threats, and do central bankers grasp underlying use cases for digital cash
  • 23:22 – How to think about programmability and the role of commercial banks
  • 27:26 – If not DLT, then what? Creation, validation, privacy, identity
  • 30:05 – Networks versus edge computing (phones) and public ledgers, and the security tradeoffs
  • 35:38 – Useful features of digital cash
  • 38:52 – Are central banks responding to the threat of quantum computing and AI to their financial systems?

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