CASHLESS SOCIETY 2020: Central Banks Exploit the Coronacrash to Bring on Coronacash

Central banks, as I’ve laid out in past months of Patron Posts, have been publicly laying the road for a transition to digital currency for many months. Now the coronacrisis is playing directly into their hands.

Central banks conduct germ warfare on dirty cash

The war on cash has gone viral. Early in March, Zero Hedge reported,

Following reports that Beijing had “quarantined” dirty cash, the Federal Reserve is now doing the same out of fear that dollars in circulation from Asia could contain Covid-19, reported Reuters.

A Fed spokesperson told Reuters on Friday that “quarantining physical dollars that it repatriates from Asia before recirculating them in the US financial system” has begun. The new “precautionary measure” is to limit the transmission of the virus in the US….

The World Health Organization (WHO) warned Monday that the virus could survive on banknotes, potentially spreading the virus within communities and across the world. To reduce the risk of being infected by money, the NGO advised citizens in countries struggling with outbreaks to favor digital payments when possible.

What better way to ease the transition away from cash than by making people afraid of it?

If the Fed was quarantining Chinese yuan paper notes at the start of the crisis before it was known to have spread to the US, how concerned are they now about Federal Reserve notes (dollar bills)? And, if WHO was concerned that any Chinese bank notes could spread the virus throughout the world, they are certainly now as concerned about dollars which are ubiquitous in this world.

That the WHO is telling the public to avoid cash is hardly a surprise: research has found that coronaviruses have been found to live on surfaces for as long as 9 days. During the statement, a WHO spokesman referenced a Bank of England study claiming that banknotes “can carry bacteria or viruses” and urged people to wash their hands….

“We would advise people to wash their hands after handling banknotes, and avoid touching their face. When possible, it would also be advisable to use contactless payments to reduce the risk of transmission.”

Cash is dirty. Cash is dangerous. The message has been driven home, not just by health organizations, but by the central banks who create cash as their sole proprietary product. The Bank of England has fully covered the germ concern. So has the Fed, and so has China. Beware of dirty cash!

China launches beta version of central bank digital currency

The Fed’s words in earlier Patron Posts indicated it had no interest in being first, , preferring to let someone else work out the technology and all the bugs, then step in and take control.

China, however, has been racing to be the first to have its own central-bank digital currency. The Chinese government’s big concern may be that cryptocurrencies, taking the world by storm, are anonymous. China likes to replace popular social-media apps with its own government apps so it can monitor the conversation.

The communist regime probably doesn’t like crypto’s filling the innovative financial space with something anonymous. That might explain the government’s rush to introduce something of its own and make it popular before cryptos dominate Chinese commerce. While China’s CBDC (central bank digital currency) is not anonymous, they promise citizens their privacy will be guarded.

Central banks across the world have been mulling the creation of a government digital currency to one day replace cold hard cash. Beyond bidding adieu to the logistical headaches of handling germy physical bills, governments like the idea of having a better eye on transaction data to cut down on tax evasion and disfavored dealings. Fully severing the link with meatspace money could also, how do they put it?—“enhance central banks’ monetary toolkits….”


Remember that I wrote in yesterday’s post that gaining more tools is the big factor for central banks — more direct control and more direct monitoring of the economy. The issue for the government is control, too — tax control, crime control, etc.

The Chinese government is infamous for wanting control, and it has an easier shift to make, partly because it has exercised heavy-handed control for generations and partly because Chinese people are used to digital transactions on a daily basis:

Many in China are already quite familiar with digital payment systems. Some 92 percent of people living in China’s largest cities report that they use one of the two most popular digital payment platforms, WeChat Pay and Alipay, for most of their transactions. Visitors to China are frequently mystified at the sight of shoppers simply scanning their phones to pay for all goods and services, with nary a crumpled Renminbi or even a plastic card to be found….

The Chinese state has recently moved to exert more influence over WeChat parent company Tencent and Alipay operator Ant Financial so they act more like “state overseen enterprises.

‘And why wouldn’t it? Gathering transaction data may be the most perfect surveillance system possible. By merely observing what a person buys, a government can get an intimate look at their whereabouts, habits, personality, health and relationship statuses, aspirations, finances, and even their fertility. The best part about financial surveillance is that it’s practically invisible.

It does seem to fit the Chinese government’s modus operandi perfectly. Not surprisingly, then, China is already test-launching its CBDC:

China’s central bank has introduced a homegrown digital currency … marking a milestone on the path toward the first electronic payment system by a major central bank. Internal tests of the digital currency are being conducted in four large cities around China—Shenzhen, Suzhou, Chengdu and Xiong’an, a satellite city of Beijing—to improve the currency’s functionality, the digital currency research institute under the People’s Bank of China confirmed.

Wall Street Journal

That beta version of China’s cashless app reportedly looks like this:

A screenshot of the user interface for China’s long-awaited sovereign digital currency has begun circulating on the Chinese internet….

The coronavirus outbreak may have added fresh urgency to China’s quest to digitise its currency, as fears that the Covid-19 disease can be transmitted by banknotes and coins have emerged in recent weeks.

At a conference about banknote circulation earlier this month, PBOC deputy governor Fan Yifei said China would “unswervingly push ahead sovereign digital currency research and development”

Crypto Currency Guide

Of course, digital phone payment systems have been around for years now, such as Alibaba’s Alipay and Tencent’s WeChat Pay, or Apple Pay. The distinction here is that China’s central bank intends to replace the nation’s over time with something like this, and the switch has begun.

Switzerland, home of the prized Swiss franc, will experiment with a Swiss CBDC this year

Skip ahead to the four-minute mark in the following video to get to where this Swiss National Bank governor says how many central banks are creating CBDCs and how far along they are in creating digital currencies and then where the Swiss National Bank is in this process:

Going global will take longer

With coronavirus accelerating demand (by governments, health professionals and businesses) for national cashless payment systems, many nations are rushing to create their own, as laid out in the video above.

It may take 2-3 years before most of those nations have national CBDCs according to the central banker in the video, which means a global system is even further in the distance, though Europe may form something around the euro.

There is great desire for a global system because many nation’s want to diminish the dollar’s hegemony in the world. Demand is also strong due to the technological nature of our world in which global transactions that involve currency exchanges can still take several days between central banks.

Here is an example of those looking for digital salvation from dollar hegemony in the Chinese gold market, which is denominated in dollars so that Fed policies affect international gold prices:

Concern has mounted among some market participants over the dollar-denominated system as the U.S. Federal Reserve cut interest rates to near-zero and embarked on unlimited quantitative easing to contain the economic damage of the coronavirus pandemic.

The measures have helped to drive gold prices to more than seven-year-highs this month … Wang Zhenying, who heads the world’s largest physical spot gold exchange, said in an interview….

“Future global trade needs a super-sovereign currency system under which no single country has the power to freeze the international assets of another country….”

His comments on a new global currency echo a previous proposal to reform the international monetary system during the 2008/09 global financial crisis.

Zhou Xiaochuan, former governor of the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), said that crisis and its spillover called for a super-sovereign reserve currency disconnected from individual nations….

“It [the global dollar] is a weapon for the U.S., but a source of insecurity for other countries,” Wang said. “The currency the world ultimately chooses for global trade must not be one that gives someone privilege, while exposing others to insecurity.”


You see, if you own gold for security in China, and gold is traded in dollars, and the US freezes dollars in China, then you may find it hard to cash in your value in gold when you need to turn it back into money. You can, of course, buy with gold directly; but very few people or enterprises are willing to do that because they don’t trust your gold to be pure and rightly weighed and haven’t got the time or inclination to assay it.

In light of statements like the one above from the former head of China’s central bank and from China’s largest gold trader, it’s not hard to see where China is trying to go with its new digital currency. Zhou, quoted above, also said the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF’s) special drawing rights (SDR) should be the basis of a new global currency.

Many believe that is why China wanted so badly to become part of the SDR, which it succeeded in doing in 2016. It’s also possible China just made that step to be regarded as a serious global currency contender. Its own inclusion in the SDR has the additional effect of watering down the dollar’s influence.

China and many nations have learned that, once the US controls the currency of any international market, such as oil or gold, it is desperately difficult to slip the noose of that currency. They have learned the US can and will weaponize its currency via sanctions that can limit or even eliminate one’s ability to interact in those global markets. By weaponizing its currency to punish nations that don’t behave as the US wants them to, the US has weakened the global desirability of its currency.

A question I have, as China races to the finish line with its beta testing while the Federal Reserve dithers is whether the Fed is the hare in the fable of “The Tortoise and the Hare.” Is it it overconfident in its ability to swoop in at the last moment and take control over the digital space, or is it right in believing it has that ability? Does it have reason to believe China will fail if it gains global acceptance via the SDR so that it can swoop in to the rescue?

Or does the Fed just not care? Several versions of central banking conspiracy theories claim the Fed is just a pawn or a player that has no concern for the US or for the dollar as it works toward a digital global currency.

How that serves the Fed, which has to answer for its very existence to US government, I cannot see. Others, I’m sure will fill me in. Nor do I see clearly now it serves US-based international banks, which have done fabulously well precisely because their dollar is the global currency, which presses all nations to work with US banks.

Be all of that as it may, it is clear what direction we are moving in — whether by Fed incompetence, Fed hubris, causing it to be overconfident, or some Fed role in an international banking cabal conspiracy. So, I’m keeping my focus on where we’re going and not on deciphering what motivates it … and on that movement’s potential for evil, no matter what party controls it.

One version of the abundant conspiracy theories on this subject goes like this (and I’m not saying it is wrong, or I wouldn’t even be putting it here):

In the first part of this article we traced the development of the ‘Utility Settlement Coin‘ – a project that began in 2015 and which has now evolved through the inception of a consortium called Fnality International. Fnality are comprised of a number of the world’s biggest banks including Barclays and UBS, all of whom are shareholders in the scheme. Their objective as stated on the company’s website reads:

“Fnality International has been founded to create a network of decentralised Financial Market Infrastructures … to deliver the means of payment-on-chain in tomorrow’s wholesale banking markets….” [As in block-chain.]

Perhaps the standout name on Fnality’s management team is Daniel Heller, the firm’s advisor on regulatory affairs. Described as an expert in financial sector regulation and financial stability, Heller has a track record of having served at both the Bank for International Settlements and the International Monetary Fund. At the BIS he was head of the Secretariat of the Committee on Payment and Settlement Systems, whilst at the IMF he was the executive director for Switzerland, Poland, Serbia, Azerbaijan, and four Central Asian republics. According to the Peterson Institute, for which Heller is a visiting fellow, Heller’s present research ‘focuses on the impact of emerging digital technologies such as blockchain on the financial sector, financial stability, and central banking….’

Back in September last year, the BIS held a ‘Conference on global stablecoins‘ in which one of the participants was Fnality International who gave a presentation on the day (along with JP Morgan and the Libra Association behind Facebook’s planned digital currency). High on the agenda of this conference was the legal uncertainties around stablecoins as well as how they could be regulated in the name of promoting financial and monetary policy stability….

As evidenced by the coverage on the Libra Association, the regulatory environment is one of the main issues around the future implementation of a digital currency network, so it will no doubt benefit Fnality to have Daniel Heller amongst their management, given his speciality in regulatory affairs and his former role at the BIS.

Zero Hedge

To me, the fact that so many nations like China, Switzerland and little island nations, as well was organizations like Fdality, are all working on their own CBDCs indicates there is no global conspiracy. It look more like race to see who can be central.

That last part about “the regulatory environment [as] one of the main issues” is where the Fed has indicated it will step in (as shown in previous Patron Posts).

I’ll let you research the theory more at that link if you are interested. I include it because it may be more current fact than theory. It is clear from all of this point that central banks are closing into the digital space — some faster than others — and appear to be competing against each other to get there, some with determination to be first, others like Switzerland (and maybe the US Federal Reserve) not wanting to be first but wanting to be sure they get it right and do it broadly — all of them certain they will get there.

Where do international organizations like the IMF and BIS fit in?

It is the non-national organizations mentioned in the article above — the IMF and BIS — that I’ll focus on next.

The vision for USC, which has carried through to Fnality International, was for it to be 100% backed by fiat currency held at the central bank level. Initially five currencies would be focused on: the dollar, the euro, the pound, the Japanese yen and Canadian dollar.

Sounds like IMF special drawing rights to me.

Europe, after all, has not worked in consort with the Federal Reserve or US interests. The euro has always been presented as a competitor to the dollar, just like the European Community is often seen as a competitor to the US. Supporting that view, the BIS published the following statement from one of its consortiums last year:

When the euro was created 20 years ago it was hailed as one of the most important turning points in the history of the international monetary system since the demise of the Bretton Woods system. Many observers saw the euro as a natural contender to rival the supremacy of the US dollar in the global monetary and financial system. After all, the euro area was (and remains) the world’s largest trading bloc.

The remarkable rise of China in the global economy, its expanding role in international trade, and the inclusion of the renminbi in 2016 in the International Monetary Fund’s Special Drawing Right (SDR) valuation basket, were widely heralded as yet another turning point for the international financial system.

Yet, the US dollar remains the dominant international currency. It has defied all attempts to rival its monopoly position, even going back to the 1980s, when hopes that Japan’s emergence as global creditor would support the internationalisation of the yen were also disappointed.

The US dollar today accounts for around half of global foreign exchange transactions worth 6.6 trillion dollars per day. It is used to invoice nearly half of global foreign trade, a share far greater than that of the United States in the global economy. And it is now as widely used as a reference unit for exchange rate arrangements as it was during the Bretton Woods era. By some measures, it has taken on an even greater role.

Today, the discussion is about so-called “stablecoins” – crypto-assets with value-stabilising characteristics.


There you have the history of the competition against the dollar in a nutshell. Many are the nations in this world that would love to trounce the dollar’s dominance once and for all. The more presidents have weaponized it in recent administrations, the more nations have come to hate it with Russia, Venezuela, Iran and other Middle Eastern countries all wishing to be out from under it completely. Europe wishes no less.

I don’t see anything in all of this racing and competition that looks like a global unified conspiracy emerging. From my point of view, I see this chaos as a combination of trends that are pushing the whole world to compete toward the same central goal — having their CBDC supplant the dollar or provide an alternative to the dollar as a world currency. Doesn’t change the fact that all moves above are globally centrist and digital and cashless. So, by either perspective, we’re headed the same way.

The dollar is by no means assured of coming out on top of the scrimmage, but from what I see neither is any other currency a clear bet for a winner. A lot of people focus on the SDR as the vehicle that a will evolve into a global currency, but there are shortcomings with that view, too (which is not to say it won’t, but just that a it’s not a clear choice for a winner either).

After several years of monetary madness—artificially lowering interest rates to the extent all asset prices are distorted—the world is slowly waking up to the fact that printing money by central banks is a one-way street. Once central banks enter this trajectory (and they have), they can’t reverse. Markets have become addicted to cheap money, and central banks feel compelled to print more when the economy, or stock market, weakens.

The Federal Reserve, the issuer of the U.S. dollar, is trapped too. Possibly, a paradigm shift in the international monetary system will transpire during the coming economic downturn, and the dollar will lose its status as the world reserve currency. Some analysts proclaim the next world reserve currency is standing ready to replace the dollar. This would be the Special Drawing Right (SDR), issued by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).


The writer of that article doesn’t believe the SDR or the IMF have what it takes to supplant the dollar. My point in including the quotation is that, even those who don’t think it can happen recognize that others are certainly trying to make it happen.

The SDR, he argues (rightly),

… is not a currency, because it can’t be used by individuals; it’s not a medium of exchange.

It is used by nations between nations. Those nations, however, may hope it will become the underlying basis for a currency that supplants the US dollar on the international stage, but the IMF is largely US funded, and the US dollar is one of its component parts. The IMF’s special drawing rights are as beset with as many problems as the splintered euro.

If you’ve been around while, you remember how many people, nations and institutions once thought the euro would replace the US dollar, but clearly it has not. It is barely holding itself together.

The SDR is as riddled with the same kinds of problems as the euro, which is also one of currencies it comprises. The SDR also comprises the dollar, the pound, the yen and, since 2016, the Chinese yuan. The whole is not greater or more stable than the sum of its many parts, some of which are unstable in themselves. So, if the SDR does become the basis of a global currency, it will be more plagued with fractures and troubles than the euro. It will exist in a constant state of self-destruction.

It is also dependent on all the currencies it might conceivably try to supplant. So, what does it mean if it supplants and undermines a part of itself?

The SDR only has value to the extent its underlying currencies have value. So, how do you damage the dollar as one of the main components and not damage the SDR? A chain is not stronger than any one of its links. If everyone tried to use the SDR as a unified currency, it would cease to exist because its underlying currencies would cease to be used.

Hard to see how that would work. Brexit show us that Europe can barely hold itself together. The refusal of nations like the UK in Europe to join the eurozone and make the euro their sole national currency says the euro cannot even gain the trust of all of Europe. How much less a currency made of euros and yen and yuan and pounds … and the hated dollar!

So, I don’t see it; but that doesn’t mean it can’t happen.

Competition among currencies appears alive and well, but the movement toward digital all over the world is clear. The rise of angst over the dollar is also clear. The desire for something international is clear. What isn’t clear is what the thing will be that wins all of that.

Enter the corona

Like the euro, going global is chaos. That’s why it will never work, just like the euro will never work; but that doesn’t mean it won’t be tried.

I can’t tell you what currency will emerge as the basis for a global digital currency or how far off a global version is. What I can tell you is that all national central banks of any significance and many of little significance are pressing toward central bank digital currencies.

Regardless of whether banks were plotting some kind of digital currency all along, the bitcoin revolution and all the alternatives around it would be a rogue fact today that central bankers would have to address. They have emergent competitors. The world would be going toward digital currencies, whether central bankers wanted it or not. They have to address that just to hold their place in the world. Hence, I see it all as convergence of trends.

The world is not going to sit and wait for central bankers to figure it out. Fear of dirty cash is pushing currencies to go digital. Central banks are encouraging that fear. Sheltering in place, is pushing people to buy online, which pushes them more toward going digital (though we have digital payment systems that work fine without a CB-controlled digital currency. Online transactions often don’t show national boundaries, so they press for a global currency. The move by businesses to install touchless transactions systems will also push those who aren’t afraid of dirty cash to go digital just to continue to participate in this world. Bill Gates’ research into a digital vaccine tattoo may also press the world to accept a digital ID that can be used as easily for financial transactions as for proof of vaccination, and he’s said he will do all he can to take the world to purely digital transactions.

The present global health crisis may even burn up enough national currencies into smoldering cinders as they destroy themselves in massive deficit-spending stimulus plans that a single currency rises from the ashes like the phoenix professed by the The Economist more than twenty years ago.

cashless society cover of The Economist

The point: It appears diabolic forces are aligned in world events against those who prefer the autonomy of cash — whether they are bankers looking for control, governments looking for control, Bill Gates looking for corporate dominance or just concerned about a vaccine that will save us all, or something occulted in the shadows beneath all of that and behind it all.

You don’t have to know what is causing the movement to see where things are moving. You don’t have to believe in any conspiracy (though one or many may certainly be at work) to see which way the world is shifting and how coronavirus is adding velocity to that trajectory and singling out that path among many that might be possible.

Everything is moving toward taking the world to central bank digital currencies, and we will see them start to emerge in various nations this year and next.

Many nations are anxious to take the mantle from the Fed and from the US, whether or not the Fed and US major banks are complicit in that. It can be seen from their own words.

The British have the crown, a silver coin now mostly commemorative that is minted on rare occasions, such as coronations, Queen Elizabeth’s wedding anniversary, The Queen Mother’s eightieth birthday, and the latest being Prince Charles and Lady Diana’s wedding.

The Norwegians have the krone (also meaning crown). Likewise, the Danish. The Germans and Austrian also once had krone. The inlanders had their kroner.

Perhaps soon we’ll have the corona (“corona” being latin for “crown”) as the name of the world’s first digital currency, brought into being the the coronavirus’s burn out of numerous national currencies in stimulus programs and debt that devalue them.

Think of what that means for central control. The article quoted above from Reason went on to conclude,

Having the Federal Reserve serve as both a money creator and a retail bank account operator would effectively anoint the Fed as a national surveillance body, as the economist Lawrence H. White has noted.

We don’t need some government scheme to enjoy the benefits of convenient digital payments. Plenty of private online payment systems already exist.

Yes. Why not just stop there? That’s why I argued in my last article that establishing CBDCs is really all about who gains control, not convenience or security … or even economic stimulus, but just control.


The fact that it is all about control, not stimulus, presses me back to considering this warning from far across the digital divide:

It also forced all people, great and small, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hands or on their foreheads, so that they could not buy or sell unless they had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of its name. This calls for wisdom. Let the person who has insight calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man. That number is 666.

Revelation 13:16-18

The number 666 was written uncustomary in Hebrew letters in the Greek text (like Romans used letters for numerals), and if read as a Hebrew word, those letters spell “Nero Ceasar” in Hebrew. That clearly fits since Nero persecuted Christians, burning them on stakes, during apocalyptic times. Nero died of a head wound, and the Apocalypse says one head of the beast died of a mortal wound. It also says the beast comes back to life. Old interpretations said the beast represented Ancient Rome, a system or entity, while the seven heads represented the seven Roman caesars who ruled from the time of Christ’s birth to the time when the Apocalypse was written.

Maybe the resurrection of one of the leaders is not literal. Maybe the scripture meant someone like Nero rises again to rule the old Roman Empire or the world. You see, the Hebrew letters for “Roman Kingdom” also add up to 666. Likewise the Greek letters for the Greek name of the Roman Empire, Lateinos, add up to 666 under the Greek numeral system. So do the letters in the Greek words spelling “Latin Kingdom” in Greek. So do the latin words on the Pontiff’s crown, Vicarius Filii Dei (“Vicar of the Son of God”) add up to 666 if those letters that are Roman numerals are used to represent their Roman numeral values. So, the number has the old Roman Empire or old Europe written all over it!

I’ve already noted in a previous article the tie to universal product codes (UPC), which use three pairs of lines that match the universal product code for “6” (two thin lines) to bracket the numbers being scanned (called “guard bars”). They are used to scan all purchases. They would work the same way if you were tattooed with an invisible, scannable ID number. “They could not buy or sell unless they had the mark.”

Interestingly, Microsoft also owns a patent with the serial number 060606, and what is it for? It is, according to the patent, a “cryptocurrency system using body activity data.”

Will the collection of that body activity data come from a sensor in a wearable wrist watch or a … tattoo … or an … implant? Microsoft only mentions tablets, watches, etc., as examples of the kinds of devices that might utilize the device to scan human bodies for activity. There is no reason, however, Microsoft cannot be looking to further applications. Microsoft is known to do that.

The patent summarizes what the device does as follows:

Human body activity associated with a task provided to a user may be used in a mining process of a cryptocurrency system. A server may provide a task to a device of a user which is communicatively coupled to the server. A sensor communicatively coupled to or comprised in the device of the user may sense body activity of the user. Body activity data may be generated based on the sensed body activity of the user. The cryptocurrency system communicatively coupled to the device of the user may verify if the body activity data satisfies one or more conditions set by the cryptocurrency system, and award cryptocurrency to the user whose body activity data is verified

Maybe you’ll get universal basic income just for moving around if you have the sensor somehow connected to your body and linked to an external server.

The patent number starts with WO, which represents the patent registry organization, followed by the year 2020, followed by the serial number 060606. Probably just a bizarre coincidence that it would happen to be all about body scanning and some kind of new cryptocurrency.

A little over two decades ago, one of Seattle’s leading newspapers wrote,

Cash … is becoming trash. It is dirty, cumbersome, easily counterfeited, subject to theft and expensive to track. Even worse, in an American society that worships technology, it is old-fashioned.

Some merchants won’t even accept the stuff as legal tender. In Los Angeles and other places, Federal Express outlets don’t take cash….

If the people plotting this revolution finish it, cash will completely transmogrify not clean, safe, electronic signals zapped instantaneously through the internet.

Having cut its tether to gold years ago, money would become pure information … that moves around on bank-owned computers, which would allow banks to retain control over — and charge for — its transmission.

“Is Cash Dead?” The Seattle Times, July 20, 1993, pp. D-1,4

That was published in one of the leading newspapers of the metropolitan region where both the developer of UPC scanners and the head of Microsoft lived and had their headquarters. It seems more relevant today than ever.

There seem to be a lot of odd coincidences around the number 666 from old Europe to financial scanning systems and digital currency. Could there be some convergence of the vestiges of the old Roman Empire, a leader like Nero, digital currency and digital scanning technology similar to UPC scanners?

All of those things fit with 666, and all of them fit with the discussion we’ve had about emergent global, central-bank crypto currencies. Does that provide many correct layers of meaning for the ancient truly digital code “666,” making it the perfect number for the ancient riddle in the Apocalypse on many levels?

I don’t know.

But it’s interesting. I’ve always been intrigued by poems and symbols with layers of meaning. The best poets often intend layers of meaning, and this number seems packed with possibilities that have a lot of resonance with how technology and commerce are aligning today and where the ancient power centers still hold.

I don’t, however, jump to conclusions, or I try not to; so, I just ponder the possibilities as financial events unfold and reveal themselves. I figure the right meaning(s) will become clear to those who remain open to the possibilities of the riddle during the times predicted. The meaning will become as emergent as the events.

Gratifying as insider knowledge about the future would be, I don’t read biblical prophecies as intending to provide me with insider knowledge about the precise details of future but as intending to provide those who live in apocalyptic times with understanding and hope during the times in which they live. It’s not just a book written about the future, but a book written for the future when it becomes present.

The people who live in those times will know the hope is real because their times were described long before they came. The descriptions are not dark to be frightening. They are dark because the times are dark. They are described in stark terms so that those who live in those dire times recognize their own era and know the hopes and warnings the prophecy describes, such as not to receive the mark, are as solid as the imperial evil people see forming around them.

Those for whom the prophecies were intended will know their meaning with clarity on a need-to-know basis.

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