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

Erik Starck es at popido.com
Sun Feb 22 10:20:33 UTC 2004

There has been some discussion on embedding euro notes with RFID tags to 
identify them:
but I don't know if it will ever become a reality. According to the 
article they should be here next year, but that doesn't seem plausible.


Mike Lorrey wrote:

>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
>>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
>>extropy-chat mailing list
>>extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org
>Mike Lorrey
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