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

Harvey Newstrom mail at HarveyNewstrom.com
Mon Feb 23 13:40:50 UTC 2004

Erik Starck wrote,
> I'm sure it's technically possible, but there are some
> privacy concerns: 
> <http://www.wired.com/news/privacy/0,1848,59565,00.html>
> And it's not just the chips that must work, the
> tricky thing is the infrastructure to support them.

I am well aware of the privacy concerns.  I never said the government should
do it, I was answering the question of whether they could do it.  

But note that in the article you link above, the European Central Bank
spokesman wouldn't answer questions about privacy concerns, what features
were in the new money or who made the new money, citing strict
confidentiality agreements.  In other words, the banks are already
protecting corporate confidentiality over individual privacy concerns.  I
wouldn't count on the government to put the public's concerns over their
own.  The very fact that they pursued this project in secret and enacted
confidentiality agreements to prevent people from commenting demonstrates
the intent.

The infrastructure does not have to be in place before the RFID chips are
implemented.  Nor does the infrastructure have to be extensive.  Just having
it at a few central banks would provide substantial documentation for most
money flows.  Just having a small percentage of trackable bills would be
enough to track  major cash transactions.

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