Chinese-Style Social Credit System Is Getting Closer to Western Countries – Bitcoin Is Your Way Out

By ssaurel | In Bitcoin We Trust | 6 Nov 2023

The name NatWest may mean nothing to you if you don't live in Europe, or more precisely in the UK.

However, NatWest, better known by its full name of National Westminster Bank, is a major retail commercial bank in the UK.

If NatWest has been in the news in recent hours, it's unfortunately not for the best of reasons. Could it be any other way with a bank anyway?

It all started with an article in The Telegraph, pointing the finger at NatWest's new fad to supposedly “empower customers to understand their carbon impact”.

  NatWest combs customer accounts – and tells them to go vegetarian

NatWest has decided to go through its customers' bank accounts with a fine-tooth comb to better study their consumption behavior and finally calculate their carbon footprint.

A new “Carbon Footprint Tracker” feature on NatWest's mobile app uses customers' transaction data and makes recommendations on how to reduce the amount of carbon production supported by their purchases.

Where is NatWest's customer privacy?

Once NatWest has calculated your carbon footprint, the bank gives you advice on how to reduce your carbon footprint. NatWest specifies that you have to activate this feature to benefit from it, but there is little doubt that this type of functionality will be imposed on you in the future when you open a bank account.

This is akin to the social credit score introduced by the CCP in China several years ago. The difference here is that this is done at the level of a private bank...

For example, the bank advised one of its customers to consider mending their clothes rather than going to department stores to buy new outfits and to stop drinking cow's milk in favor of plant-based alternatives.

Other tips given by NatWest include turning off your tumble dryer, sharing your car journeys, repairing broken electronics yourself, or washing your clothes in cold water.

I'm not criticizing the content here, but the form. NatWest's advice may be excellent, but it uses your data. It's a total violation of your privacy that paves the way for a world of surveillance and control that many imagined as dystopian only a short time ago.

In the spending section of NatWest's mobile app, customers can now switch from the “My spending” tab to the “My footprint” tab. Customers are then informed of the carbon impact of each of their everyday purchases. Everything is scrutinized by the NatWest tracker.

One user detailed another example of advice given by NatWest:

“If you spend £15 on a dress at a high-street shop, that could equate to a footprint of 16kg CO2.”

NatWest advises this customer to buy second-hand clothes to reduce his carbon footprint.

NatWest advises other customers to reduce their consumption of red meat:

To replace the red meat you love to eat, NatWest recommends tofu or lentils, which NatWest believes are excellent sources of vegetable protein with a lower carbon footprint.

Don't like tofu or lentils? Too bad!

This new NatWest feature seems to be part of the bank's drive to improve its image following the scandal surrounding the debanking of politician Nigel Farage. Coutts Bank, owned by NatWest and supported by British taxpayers, attempted to close the prominent politician's account after deeming him to have “xenophobic, chauvinistic, and racist views.

Once again, it's the form that's disturbing. A bank should not have the right to censor you for your opinions in this way. This is unacceptable censorship, which has unfortunately become the norm in today's system.

One customer, Faith Scott, 76, from Surrey, told The Telegraph that she felt the bank's carbon footprint calculator was an “intrusion into her life” and said the bank should give priority to “looking after our money, not our morals.

Faced with the public outcry over this invasion of NatWest customers' privacy, the bank defends itself by saying that its sole aim is to "empower our customers to understand their carbon impact".

You can make the dangerous choice of believing NatWest and its allegedly good intentions.

Or you can already understand that what NatWest is doing here is just the beginning of what will be put in place by governments around the world to better impose things you don't want once CBDCs are deployed.

After all, what NatWest is doing will serve as a test case for what's to come: the mass surveillance society that Western governments, so critical of the Chinese system, will try to impose on us in the future.

Faced with this dystopian model of future society, we have few alternatives. In my view, Bitcoin represents an excellent way out. As I've said in the past, Monero is also a value choice to be considered alongside Bitcoin:

"Wanting More Privacy and Anonymity Than Bitcoin Can Give You? 3 Privacy Coins To Consider"

As always, it's up to you, but be prepared and never give up your right to privacy. These are fundamental human rights that governments have decided to attack from now on.

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Entrepreneur / Developer / Blogger / Author.

In Bitcoin We Trust
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