[extropy-chat] TECH: The future of cash?

Mike Lorrey mlorrey at yahoo.com
Sun Feb 22 04:38:52 UTC 2004

The replacement will be cards that contain pre-set amounts of encrypted
digital cash backed by gold, silver, and other tangible deposits.

--- Christian Weisgerber <naddy at mips.inka.de> wrote:
> (This is only mildly futuristic, but hey, I don't see people talking
> about it.)
> Many of us love our credit cards, debit cards, checks, bank
> transfers,
> etc, that allow us to perform monetary transactions without having
> to move bundles of cash around.  However, these methods all leave
> a data trail behind and--at least in their current implementations--
> suffer from transaction fees that make them uneconomical for small
> payments.  For these reasons, cash is still popular and desirable.
> Now, I recently caught something on TV which reminded me of a looming
> crisis that doesn't appear to receive much public attention yet:
> Counterfeiting is going to kill traditional cash real soon now.
> While much of the current counterfeit money that enters circulation
> may still not stand up to closer inspection by a layman, the best
> of the crop here in Europe is now in practice indistinguishable
> from genuine money.  Of course experts can still recognize the
> forgeries, but consumers, merchants, and banktellers cannot.  The
> problem isn't so much creating enhanced security features that are
> hard to duplicate, as it is creating features that can still be
> readily verified with the plain old human sensorium.  We're at the
> end of the road here.
> You never hear much about who the counterfeiters are.  "From Eastern
> Europe".  This reminds me of a guy I knew, who was involved with a
> print shop, and who related the story that they once sat down and
> had a try at duplicating paper money (scaled in size, to be on the
> safe side) just to see whether they could.  Supposedly it didn't
> prove very difficult.  Any competent print shop should be able to
> produce plausible counterfeit money.  Okay, so that was a couple
> of years ago, but progress doesn't seem to favor the central banks
> there.  There are many trained printers in the world.
> Cash will have to grow an electronic component or become wholly
> electronic.  However, there are also strong interests on the part
> of law enforcement and the spooks to get rid of anonymous cash
> altogether (think tax evasion, money laundering, and the wonderful
> possibilities of plain transaction profiling).  I don't know where
> the banks are on this and what the overall balance of interests
> ends up like.  Will cash go away completely?
> So, what _is_ the future of cash?
> -- 
> Christian "naddy" Weisgerber                         
> naddy at mips.inka.de
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Mike Lorrey
"Live Free or Die, Death is not the Worst of Evils."
                                       - Gen. John Stark
"Fascists are objectively pro-pacifist..."
                                       - Mike Lorrey
Do not label me, I am an ism of one...
Sado-Mikeyism: http://mikeysoft.zblogger.com

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