But who benefits from the War on Cash?
In the wake of the attack on the Christmas market in Berlin in December, the European Commission granted customs and police authorities sweeping new powers to seize cash or precious metals carried by “suspect individuals” entering the EU. People carrying more than €10,000 euros in cash already have to declare this at customs when entering the EU. The new rules would allow authorities to seize money (or precious metals or bitcoin) below that threshold “where there are suspicions of criminal activity.”
It was the latest step in the War on Cash. The powers that want to kill off cash include private and central banks, fintech firms, Silicon Valley magnates like Tim Cook and Bill Gates, telecom behemoths, credit card giants, assorted NGOs, a bewildering alphabet soup of UN agencies and many national governments. They all have their own disparate motives for taking out physical money.
They already have vital technological and generational trends firmly on their side, as well as the the added bonus of widespread public ignorance, apathy, and disinterest. As such, cash’s days as a commonly used payment method may well be numbered anyway. But it could take decades for it to die a natural death, if indeed it does. Cash’s enemies would much rather accelerate its demise…
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