Re: Why the uproar ?
What's different here? Well, let's check out a few things. If I'm in an oppressive country and I want to do something about it, money is quite handy. Here's what can happen now:
My friend: I'd like to start printing a lot of information that I have found and distributing that.
Me: Sounds good.
Friend: But I'm afraid that they'll figure me out when they realize my bank account has been drained right when the publications start.
Me: I'll chip in, and I have other friends who are also interested. We'll all help.
Friend: Thank you.
Me: Hands cash to friend.
Other friends: Hand cash to friend.
Friend: Goes to office supply store, buys paper and ink cartridges with cash.
Government of oppressive country: Doesn't know who bought those supplies.
With digital-only transactions, they would know. And they'd know who sent cash to my friend in the first place, meaning that we couldn't support the attempt financially without also being on the radar.
So yes, it's worse because it's China, a dictatorship. It wouldn't be good here either. We don't have to worry about our governments imprisoning us for buying paper and printing a lot, but we do have reasonable concerns about who has access to information. Information about where you spend money gives a potential criminal plenty to use to steal your money or identity, track you physically, and the like. At the moment, if you are concerned about this, perhaps because you have already become a victim of identity theft, you can stop using credit cards for much and switch to cash. With digital-only currency, you don't have that option and you will rely on the integrity of that system. In addition, if that system works like cash, there's a possibility that people will be stealing it with stolen access credentials without recourse, as it has been done previously with cryptocurrencies and stolen keys. With physical cash, criminals can only steal the amount they find--if my wallet is stolen, the criminals don't get any cash I store elsewhere.