Over the years more and more digital payment methods have been arising, including debit cards, Square Cash, and PayPal, just to name a few. It seems in general the world is steadily moving towards becoming a cashless society. Indeed, this is a hot topic right now because the Coronavirus Pandemic has drastically decreased the acceptance and use of physical cash over fears that cash can spread the virus. Society is not imminently going to become cashless, but if it does eventually, Bitcoin (BTC) and other decentralized cryptocurrencies will be the only forms of money that will remain outside of the government’s control.
Apparently the slow transition towards a cashless society began in the 1990s, when electronic banking first started to become popular. In the 20 years since the 1990s ended this trend has rapidly accelerated. Not only are most people only using debit or credit cards, but completely digital forms of payments are arising that don’t even require a card, such as PayPal, Square Cash, Venmo, and Apple Pay. In particular, with Apple Pay people can just put their phone up to a payment terminal, no card required.
Sweden is the case example of a cashless society, with only 2% of all transactions being done via cash by 2016. Sweden accomplished this largely via an exchange of all banknotes and coins between 2015-2017 and simultaneously severely restricting withdrawals of cash. Ultimately they closed down most banks, and out of the banks which remained open, most of those were forced to become cash free.
Essentially, in Sweden the government forced society to become cashless, perhaps setting a precedent for what can happen in other countries, especially considering the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic.
The Coronavirus pandemic has raised fears that cash could spread disease, causing numerous businesses to stop accepting cash, and scaring people away from ATMs. This has caused cash use in the United Kingdom to plummet to record lows.
It seems possible that the Coronavirus pandemic could be the impetus for nations around the world to get rid of cash, but even if that doesn’t happen, society is still on a trajectory to become cashless anyway in the coming years.
The main reason that the government wants a cashless society is because physical cash gives people control over their money, i.e. freedom to use it as they wish. The government perceives this as a threat since cash allows criminals to easily earn money and launder money without being detected.
In other words, the government wants a cashless society so that they can trace and track every transaction, in order to prevent criminal activity, terrorism, etc.
However, this is quite dystopian, since if society becomes fully cashless, then the government and banks will be able to freeze, reverse, and seize anyone’s funds at any time.
For example, if someone has medical debts or is behind on taxes, the government could drain their bank account. This is already a problem, but if society is totally cashless, then there is no place to hide the money, except Bitcoin (BTC) and other decentralized cryptocurrencies.
It is extremely fortunate that a decentralized currency like Bitcoin (BTC) exists, since even in a worst case scenario where society is forced to go completely cashless, then people will still be able to control their own money with Bitcoin (BTC). Bitcoin (BTC) cannot be seized or reversed by any 3rd parties since it is decentralized, immutable, and cryptographically secure.
Therefore, Bitcoin (BTC) may end up becoming the last bastion of financial freedom in the world, the one form of currency that the government cannot freeze or seize. This would make Bitcoin (BTC) incredibly valuable, but also incredibly controversial, and indeed, it seems this has already begun.
On a final note, the fact that Bitcoin (BTC) is the last roadblock preventing the government from making society completely cashless and controlling and tracing everyone’s money, this may explain why governments around the world have been so persistently anti-crypto.