On Wednesday, July 8, Yahoo! Finance published an article stating that Citigroup, has developed their own digital currency dubbed - Citicoin. Citigroup is the third largest bank in the US (behind Chase and Bank of America) based on Asset size. With this announcement, Citi helped to validate the trend towards digital currencies and confirmed that this is not just a “passing fad”. In addition to this admission by Citigroup, it is interesting to note that Yahoo! Finance published this article on Wednesday, July 8 – the same day that New York Stock Exchange was shut down for 3½ hours due to a “computer glitch”. Interesting, huh?
The technology that supports both the Bitcoin and Citicoin is called “Blockchain distributed ledger technologies”. Without getting too technical, essentially “Blockchain” is a decentralized, secure, transparent method for processing and verifying peer-to-peer transactions. Many experts believe that this “Blockchain” technology has far reaching potential uses beyond digital currency including: electronic voting, patent tracking and taxes. Beyond the technology itself, this is all very interesting as it was first released in 2008 by Satoshi Nakamoto, a name which is believed to be an alias for an individual or a group of developers. Although there have been numerous suggestions, the true identify of Nakamoto has not yet been confirmed. Furthermore, this unregulated digital currency is a “borderless currency” which means it sets the stage for the first truly global currency.
The Bible tells of an event, which will occur during the early part of the 7-year tribulation, that is directly related to a full global financial collapse. In Revelation, chapter 6 we read a description of the “Seal Judgments”. The first four verses talk about the first two seals: a white horse signifying the introduction of the antichrist and a red horse signifying a global war. In verses five and six, we are told about a black horse:
“When HE broke the third seal, I heard the third living creature saying, “Come.” I looked, and behold a black horse; and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand. And I heard something like a voice in the center of the four living creatures saying, “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not damage the oil and the wine.”
Most commentators believe this third horse represents famine. However, I believe that the “pair of scales” described in verse five, implies that this is also about control over the financial system to purchase critical goods - such as food. (Additionally, verses seven and eight describe the fourth judgment which specifically calls out famine as a component of the judgment.) The details in verse six essentially sets the cost of “a day’s worth of food” at a cost of “a day’s wages”. Today there is a lot of variation on what actually defines “a day’s worth of food” and even more variation on what is described as “a day’s wages”. This verse seems to imply that during this early point of the tribulation, this will be a more standardized definition of both the quantity of food (rations) as well as the related cost.
Currently, there are more than 160 active global currencies in existence. Even though the two primary currencies today are the US dollar and the Euro, it would be incredibly difficult for an individual to control all of them in such a way that there would be a common global price for a specific item such as a quart of wheat or three quarts of barley. Just think how much easier it would be to control the cost for these and other items with a single, global currency.
A few chapters later, in Revelation chapter 13, John describes another layer of control over the financial system. Revelation 13: 16 & 17 state:
“And he causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand or on their forehead, and he provides that no one will be able to buy or sell, except the one who has the mark, either the name of the name of the beast or the number of his name. “
The mark described in this verse will be some type of identifier which will enable commerce. It is important to note that individuals will need to accept this as a form of worship of the beast. Although this mark will allow the bearers to buy and sell critical items, it will also have severe consequences in that bearers will be putting the beast in the place of the ONE TRUE GOD in their lives. In recent years the technology to enable this type of control with either a digital tattoo or a digital implant has been created, however, the type of currency still presented a bit of dilemma. Clearly a single, global, “uncontrolled”, digital currency would facilitate this as well!
The US Dollar, along with many other currencies throughout history, was at one time backed by gold. Historically, gold has been the “go to” in times of economic uncertainty. That is no longer the case as we are now seeing by these news events. Clearly a digital cryptocurrency facilitates much of what is to come during the tribulation. Get all excited friends; the return of Christ is closer now than it ever has been before!