A Cashless Society Is Scary
Hey Jessies of the future
So with all this talk of cryptocurrency and attack on fiat, I think we like to dismiss physical cash as something that is archaic and has no place in the modern world. We’ve become hooked on digital everything these days and physical anything seems tedious but does your right to freedom and privacy mean that little to you?
A cashless society to me seems like the beginning of an Orwellian state and gives central governments and corporations way too much power over the individuals. Yes, we can argue that freedom is an illusion or the various extents of freedom but I don’t think that telling me how to use my money/value I’ve acquired or suggestively funnelling my money into places where central bodies earn a massive profit is something we should be pushing for.
Physical cash for all its downsides still gives us the ability to transact with one another without being monitored every second of every day. It’s an instant transaction, easy to understand and use and has become a native experience for all consumers across the world.
I hand you the cash you give me goods and services.
Image source — tyro.com
Going cashless comes at a cost
When you use a debit or credit card yes it’s super easy but you’re creating a complex data feed that can be used against you. It has what you buy, how much you spent, recurring purchases, where you buy physically and online, how much you earn, how much you save and so much more.
Your banking data is worth way more than what you put online if it wasn’t would you not be posting your bank balances and shopping carts on Facebook?
No, I didn’t think so, there’s a certain element of privacy you think you have overspending but banks don’t respect that, not in the slightest.
Banks sell a boring product no one gives a shit about how sexy you can make a loan or money transfers sound, it’s lame, we use it because we are forced to, so banks need to come up with creative ways to make a profit off of your money as well as your data.
Collecting it and selling or leasing it to retailers and other financial institutions is one, they could even sell it to government departments and you wouldn’t be any wiser. I’ve personally seen banks selling data off to stores for mutual gain and driving credit card purchases, it has become the norm.
Having the ability to opt-out
Cash at the moment allows us to opt-out of this surveillance society and even if you have a credit card you can still withdraw the cash and limit your banking footprint when you make purchases, yes it’s annoying and costly but keeping off the radar means more to me than a few extra cents on transaction fees.
I used to be a cashless snob thinking I was so smart having no cash on me but one day a homeless person asked me for change, luckily I had some to give her, she was so grateful and it got me thinking. How will these people survive in a cashless society? People who don’t have jobs or a device to transact, people who don’t have ID’s or are allowed to stay in a country?
In South Africa, our physical cash payments are still a large part of the economy and with poor access to the internet, overpriced internet and very little physical internet infrastructure, we still have a few more years before we’re completely cashless when compared to developed nations.
Its scary thought to imagine someone knows everything about what you do, especially when we know how trustworthy governments are and how civil unrest can happen very quickly. Enemies of the state can be debanked and this doesn’t even have to be some sort of radical person, we see it all the time.
Cryptocurrency may have to become the cash of the next generation, giving us a way to opt-out. Which is why I encourage people to perhaps not always buy some but try and earn some but keep some around. Having an alternative means of value you can trade could become invaluable especially in countries like mine that are always teetering on the edge of possible chaos.
Originally posted on — Steemit.com
About the Author
Che Kohler is the co-founder of nichemarket, a South African Business Directory and digital marketing agency. He is an avid blogger who specialises in writing about marketing tech and cryptocurrency.