The European Union's plan for a virtual currency has been dubbed a "digital dictatorship", as the bloc looks at centralising the way cash is handled.
A digital Euro would see all currency managed by a central bank in digital form.
The technical term for this type of currency is a central bank digital currency (CBDC).
The European Central Bank is hoping to introduce its own CBDC in 2026 but serious concerns have been raised over the move, with best-selling finance author Marc Friedrich describing it as a "f***ing trap".
Ben Habib steered clear of using the term 'dictatorship'
He explained: "They’ll say, ‘Hey, it’s easier, it’s tidier, you don’t have to put your fingers on these dirty notes and you don’t get COVID virus’ or something like that. ‘A robber can’t steal your money anymore — but you can have a chip under your skin.'"
Speaking to Politico, he added: "It’s the perfect tool for surveillance and a digital dictatorship."
While former MEP Ben Habib steered clear of using the term "dictatorship", he told GB News he has grave reservations about the technology, saying it poses major threats to democracy and indivual freedom.
He explained: "Any transcriptions you do with the currency will be transparent, as the currency you own will be registered with the central bank - in this case the European Central Bank. "They will see what you’ve done with it. Whether you’ve bought a house of a packet of cigarettes, they will have complete clarity over what you do with your money.
"Also geographically. It will give complete visibility to the Government precisely what you’re doing with your money and where you're doing it."
Mr Habib added: "It’s not a conspiracy theory to dislike the fact that the government will have complete knowledge of where you are and what you’re doing.
"The state will effectively have intruded completely in your private life."
In an extreme world, he explained, the state could prevent certain purchases from being made in order to stabilise the market or suit their own agenda.
Comparing the plan to a system being pursued by China, Habib said: "If you want one example of why it would need to be queried, the country going full tilt towards it is China.
"A totalitarian state is doing it - it’s because it loves control.
"There is a legitimate concern here about privacy and control of your capital."