Rumors Of Cash's Demise Greatly Exaggerated

from the still-holding-out-hope dept

People have been dreaming of a cashless economy for some time, though for all of the promise, the stuff doesn’t seem to be going away. Now an analyst is predicting trouble for the ATM business, claiming that contactless, biometric payment systems will obviate the need for currency. But this makes little sense. If anything, new payment systems will make plastic cards unnecessary — vendors who currently don’t deem credit card processing worthwhile won’t be jumping to shell out for biometric POS equipment. Some people will always prefer cash, regardless of costs, for the sake of anonymous transactions (and tax fraud). If anything, government pressure is more likely to lead to the decline of physical currency. Rising commodity prices are taking away the government’s lucrative business in seignorage (the profit they make on the difference between what a piece of currency is worth, and what it costs to produce). At the moment, the problem is with the penny, but pulp prices are high too. Hmm… maybe this is why Diebold has been focusing their efforts on their elections division, as opposed to their larger ATM business.

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Comments on “Rumors Of Cash's Demise Greatly Exaggerated”

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Tyshaun says:

of course...

I think cash will go away, albeit it will be a slow and painful death. Hey, I was taken to a gentlemens club for my bachelor party 5 or so years ago and they had a system where the women get tiped without using money. They had a card that they inserted into one of about 50 machines around the place, you inserted your card (that you pre-filled with cash from your ATM or from an open account to your credit card) and you could tip the dancers without cash (I realize their motivation to do this was that people spent more, but cool idea anyway). Now, the day when you no longer need dollars at a strip club certainly must be the harkening of the final decades of paper money.

Chuck Yung says:

Cash is king... sort of

If anyone thinks that cash is going to ever go the way of the dodo bird, they’re just as much a goner themselves.

Let’s just look for example at a single, isolated instance of what happens when a government fiat illegalizes cash. For that we can turn to Rumania during the time of Nicolae Ceausescu (1965-89). Now good ol’ Nicky wanted to curb his country of all forms of capitalism – including doing away with cash. Nicky made the supply of cash so tight in an effort to curb the natural Rumanian love of work and profit that there literally was no cash in the country to be had. Staples were doled out at work and political stores with script. Salaries were paid the same way. Housing was subsidized and 100% controlled. There was literally one television channel with no commercials apart from the commie propaganda about how great a man ol’ Nicky was.

The Rumanians wouldn’t put up with this but, preferring subterfuge to the gulag, devised a plan that has been repeated the world over since time immemorial: a new form of cash.

While our American Indians used “wampum” and the South Sea Islanders used shells, and the… well, the list goes on and on of what people have used for currency of the realm… anyway, back to the Rumanians.

Kents! Yes, probably the worst tasting cigarette every put together in Kentucky became the cash of the realm. A millionaire was not someone who had a million Rumanian Leus, but a million Kents! A pound of meat cost a carton of Kents, a days babysitting cost a package of Kents, and a favor cost a Kent cigarette, and so on and so on. The Rumanians just mutually agreed what good or service was worth what quantity of Kents.

These things are difficult for us in the West to understand and will remain such until the one worlders have succeeded in unitizing our world into one controllable lot just like ol’ Nicky tried to do. Then, the new currency may become 2 Gig computer chips by AMD, or iPods, or only the Lord knows what. But, whatever it is that our “new” society become decides upon be assured that the decision will in fact be made. It will creep around the world not because we are human and have certain characteristics – such as not wanting a government to know everything we do – just as surely as we live, breath and ultimately die.

So, the true analysis should not be what is the future of fiat currency; or what is the future of money; more truly based upon the human spirit the analysis should be just what form of wealth that is valuable can we rely upon when the inevitable comes and governments anew – just like all of the Nickys our past – try to control the way we think, the way we vote, the things we read and the things we do; for surely just as power corrupts and total power corrupts totally, there is a time coming when currency or money as we know it will be outlawed because its mere presence stops the Nickys of the world from controlling our every move.


Wolf Man 68 says:

Re: Cash is king... sort of

Very through article but they aren’t talking about getting rid of currency all together. They are just referring to getting rid of “Liquid funds” they want to be able to track all transactions or for them to go through electronic transfer and not through paper that can be lost or stolen. The thing they are going to be pushing is “How Secure” it will be. The fact of the matter is I knew it was coming from when I was little. I’m not a religious nut or anything, but if you read the Bible the book of Revelation talks about it happening. With a little research into translation you find out that the mark of the beast will not be a tattoo but will be something stuck into the skin (Computer chip maybe). Don’t think so? Check out and the bible talks about it going to “Optional” . And they are already testing the no cash I some places,3800010403,39158138,00.htm

So sorry don’t tell me it isn’t going to happen. It has already been predicted 2000 years ago. And the more I research the more accurate the predictions becomes. Like I said I’m not a religious nut, but there is a lot more to the bible’s predictions than can be denied. Maybe in my research I’ll be come a religious nut. After all if you’re reading this article then you are probably already a little of a nut.

Moogle says:

Personal transactions?

So in this cashless society, am I supposed to carry around a card reader if I want to buy something from a friend/person instead of a store? If I have a garage sale, do I need to pay Amex or visa transaction fees? Or do I have to be near a computer so I can open up paypal and transfer money, losing some fees there?

I highly suspect that people who think there will be a cashless society don’t even realize you CAN buy things from somewhere other than a store. Much like DRM, whatever the actual intention is, the only real result if it becomes ubiquitous is to hand a death-grip on the market over to corporations.

Okita Soji says:

Paper Or Plastic (or PayPal?)

last time i checked, the bills in my wallet said “legal tender for all debts, public and private”

not to sound too conspiracy theory, but i’m sure all of us can see MANY reasons that the treasury department would like to do away with ‘soft’ tender (as it’s called in the banking biz) and switch to something that’s easily documented, but as long as private debts are still around, paper money will be too. although, i think paypal has certainly opened the window for it’s demise…

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