Is One-World Currency Only a Click Away?
For many people today, online shopping is the way to go. You don’t have to fight traffic on the roads or wait in long lines. There are no crowded aisles, and the store never closes. You can turn on your computer, sit down, relax, and shop at your leisure.
You can buy just about anything you want online these days, including books, clothing, electronics—even groceries. That’s right, you can do your grocery shopping online, and the supermarket will deliver your items directly to your doorstep within 24 hours.
Technology is changing the way we do almost everything. It’s even daring to change the currency we use to do it with.
The Bible implies that in the end-times, the world will use a universal currency. The apostle John wrote that during the future seven-year Tribulation, the Antichrist “causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name:…666” (Rev. 13:16–18).
John must have asked himself, How will the Antichrist exert international control and manipulate who buys and sells in a massive economy? But what seemed incomprehensible in John’s time has become a reality today. Technological developments have made our world much smaller and more connected with the simple click of a computer key.
The “mark” in Revelation 13:16–17 can be interpreted as a stamp, branding, implanted microchip, or man-made engraving of some sort. Receiving the mark of the Beast will be mandatory for everyone during the Tribulation. According to Revelation, the mark has two main functions:
Identification. It identifies the people who show loyalty to the mission and work of the Antichrist. Those with the mark accept his aim to unify the nations under his administration and force everyone to worship him in all of his hubris. Verse 16 places no social or cultural boundaries on who can receive the mark. It is for “small and great, rich and poor, free and slave” everywhere; no one is to be exempt from the Antichrist’s plan.
The mark also conveys a message of complete and utter divorce from God. Revelation says those who receive the mark are in rebellion against the Lord and destined to face His wrath (14:9–10; 19:20).
In contrast, those who refuse the mark are in danger of being martyred; but they stand in allegiance with God, and their reward is great: eternal life (20:4).
Control. The mark of the Beast also functions as a way for the Antichrist to control the populace. Unless one receives the mark, he or she is unable to buy or sell anything in the global market, meaning many probably will accept the mark simply to survive. Managing what people buy and sell on such an immense scale would require a one-world currency to monitor all transactions.
Social and financial control of this magnitude in first-century Rome would have been inconceivable. Yet with today’s social and financial developments in technology, the idea of worldwide financial control is uncomfortably plausible.
Not long after the U.S. recession spread globally in 2008, the UN Conference on Trade and Development proposed a worldwide currency managed by a “Global Reserve Bank” to help move away from dollar domination in order to prevent a single currency from negatively affecting global economics. The 218-page report states an internationally controlled currency would help stabilize every member country.1 The idea of a global currency is not only on the minds of UN bureaucrats, but it is also on the minds of those who have come to distrust the banking system altogether.
Enter Bitcoin, a peer-to-peer, digital currency created by the alias developer Satoshi Nakamoto. The highly controversial currency transcends all countries, currencies, and markets. It lacks regulation and is in no need of a bank acting as the middleman.2
When you want to purchase a product with Bitcoin, you make a time-stamped, digitally cryptic transaction with the person or company with whom you are doing business. You and your computer become the bank. And since there is no physical bank, Bitcoins are saved in a digital wallet that is either on your computer or in cloud storage—meaning it resides in a gigantic data center somewhere in the great unknown.
Anyone can earn, save, and invest Bitcoins; all you need is a computer, tablet, or smartphone to connect you to the Internet. Because Bitcoin is a cashless currency, you acquire Bitcoins through an exchange of products, services, or other currencies. That means if you sell a product or provide labor, you have the option to be paid in Bitcoins. You may also purchase Bitcoins, backed by your country’s currency, through a Bitcoin processing company like BitPay.
This currency proudly offers anonymous transactions. However, the ability to control such a digital currency for overseeing purchases would be simple to establish.
You’re probably thinking this currency is a bizarre, avant-garde, underground invention that doesn’t have two feet to stand on. Not so. You may be surprised to learn that Bitcoin is much more developed than many people realize.
For starters, major corporations love the less than 1 percent service fee levied for transactions, compared to the 2 percent or 3 percent service fees credit-card companies charge. Also, many companies see the world moving in the direction of a geo-cashless society and want to be ahead of the curve on currency transition.
Companies like online megastore Overstock.com recently started accepting payments in the form of Bitcoins. The Sacramento Kings and Golden State Warriors of the National Basketball Association will gladly take your digital currency, and Tesla Motors—the newest American car company—will happily sell its $100,000 electric cars in exchange for your Bitcoins.
BitPay, a Bitcoin processing company based in Atlanta, Georgia, boasts more than 15,000 merchants across 200 countries. And to think that as recently as September 2012, BitPay had a mere 1,000 merchants. BitPay also claims to have processed an astonishing $100 million in peer-to-peer Bitcoin transactions.
Forbes Magazine, one of the world’s leading publishers of business news, touts, “Bitcoin began 2013 at $13 a coin, only to ring in 2014 around $800 with worldwide fascination driving the 60-times gain.”3 Bitcoin’s extraordinary rate of growth probably means it isn’t vanishing anytime soon.
John Dyer, author of From the Garden to the City: The Redeeming and Corrupting Power of Technology, says, “When technology has distracted us to the point that we no longer examine it, it gains the greatest opportunity to enslave us.”4 We live in a culture that dives head first into technology without ever evaluating the long-term consequences.
And though Bitcoin may or may not be reliable or the future of one-world legal tender, it reveals there is an infrastructure, desire, and market for a global, digital, cashless currency. The question is, “Who will control it?”
- Declan McCullagh, “United Nations Proposes New ‘Global Currency,’” September 9, 2009, CBS News <tinyurl.com/NewGlobalC>.
- Bitcoin “quick tour” <bitcoin.com>.
- Samantha Sharf, “$10: One Perspective On What Bitcoin Will Be Worth In 2014,” Forbes, January 15, 2014 <tinyurl.com/bbbitcoinn>.
- John Dyer, From the Garden to the City (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel, 2011), 28.