A republished blog post from 4 June 2018 warning about some of the history and dangers of the planned cashless society.
Following the widely reported european failure of the VISA payments system last weekend, I hastily compiled this 'Twitter Moment' in order to help bring about a wider awareness and attention to the issues surrounding the moves being taken against the use of cash by governments, financial institutions and businesses over the past few years.
Friends over at Transnotitia responded by asking me to write a blog about this and other issues I tweet about regarding the future of finance and money. So here I present a compilation of information which may take quite some time to absorb. It's not intended to be read in one go, but to be used as a reference that will hopefully provide more than enough knowledge and information to help understand and educate others to certain dangers related to The Cashless Society ahead of us.
Since originally publishing this we have seen:
These are some key-events in recent living-memory which describe some very important events around finance, banking and cash.
A decade ago governments around the globe bailed-out their bankrupt financial institutions with newly-created debt loaded onto taxpayers in order to quite literally save the world - if you agree that 'the world' means the greedy banksters who ended-up getting their undeserved performance bonuses (unless they worked for Lehman Brothers or Bear Stearns). People around the world went through the full range of emotions as they suddenly had to deal with a housing collapse, mass-unemployment, recession etc in-addition to the fiscal belt-tightening so-called 'austerity' cutbacks in public financing that were imposed.
The masses in bailed-out countries were definitely not happy with this (and the subsequent consequences) so The Establishment knew that they would have to try a different solution to a bail-out the next time a crisis came around.
In the spring of 2013, the appropriately-named governor Panicos of The Central Bank of Cyprus was forced to do the unthinkable and over a bank-holiday weekend. Cash withdrawals were limited to €100, depositors with under €100,000 faced a 'hair-cut' whilst depositors with over €100,000 were set to lose at least half of their money, if not all - a so-called bail-in.
Despite the now memorable reassurance of European Central Bank (ECB) Head Mario Draghi a year earlier that "the ECB is ready to do whatever it takes to preserve the euro", many around the world, especially in the European Union and eurozone became acutely aware that their money was no longer safe in the bank. If it could happen in Cyprus, it could happen anywhere, so it's unsurprising there that there were headlines about alternatives to (our fiat-)money like this:
Last year The Bank of Cyprus re-listed in London. Today there are Greeks Suing Cyprus for Lost Millions in Bank “Bail-In”. As for Panicos, he recently wrote Failing banks, bail-ins, and central bank independence: Lessons from Cyprus.
On January 1st, 2016 new bail-in legislation came into effect which proclaimed the end of taxpayer-funded bail-outs:
These are just a handful of other countries that followed suit and implemented similar laws:
The long-suffering people of Greece voted in a new leftist political party Syriza on an anti-austerity platform. Leading the charge against the eurocrats was the flamboyant pro-European federalist finance minister Yanis Varoufakis who was mercilessly side-lined and ridiculed by his northern European opponents lead by Germany.
After months of fruitless discussions, he and his party put out a referendum to accept or reject the latest bail-out scheme being offered. The response from 'The Troika' in the run-up to the vote was swift and the country was immediately thrown into chaos. The government caved-in to Troika demands regardless of the referendum result and the rest is history as even worse conditions were imposed on the people of Greece for their impudence (and also as a warning to France, Spain and Italy who were having their own fiscal problems).
This was a perfect example to people around the world of the levels that a government and central bankers will sink-to in order to protect the financial oligarchy and its interests.
On 8 November 2016 India's demonetisation was announced. The global reaction - as with Cyprus - was once again of shock once-more stunned people saw that the government of the largest democracy in the world (~1.4 billion people) and its central bank can collude together and decide in secret to invalidate all of its printed banknotes if it so desires and there's nothing at all that a citizen can do about it!
By 28 November during the inevitable and on-going chaos, the under-fire Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted 'Transactions without Cash - It's Possible!' whilst his government was seemingly making up the rules as they went along.
The situation is described in vivid detail by Jayant Bhandari who was there on-the-ground, a must-see:
Was it a success or massive blunder? The jury is still out for some - India's government trumpets it as a great success - but on the evidence presented in Jayant's video, they couldn't have done a worse job. The origins of the demonetisation fiasco have been described in an excellent blog post by Norbert Häring: "A well-kept open secret: Washington is behind India’s brutal experiment of abolishing most cash".
The following year a story reported that read "Paytm has said its e-wallet service has more than 200 million clients in India." (1/7 of India's population) but it's been reported that most of the people of India had switched back to cash. Note: Alibaba owns Alipay, one of the biggest Chinese cashless payment providers with 520 million users. Isn't it a national security issue for Indians?
If you've read this far, you should be aware that YOUR MONEY IS NOT SAFE IN A BANK! Your 'deposit' is legally a loan to the bank, and you're the last in the queue to get your money back should the bank fail.
So what can you do to protect your hard-earned savings? I'm not a financial advisor - so take this advice at your peril - but in practical terms, these are the simplest things:
In late-2016, whilst angling for a top-job in the coming administration of Madam President, the so-called economist and defender of the usurocracy Ken Rogoff published the book "The Curse Of Cash" to widespread derision:
Rogoff's response to the comments and reviews. was cynical - it was more about 'fighting crime'! By the end of January 2017 he stopped tweeting after signing-off with Kenneth Rogoff: Why we need a 'less-cash society' in an article for the World Economic Forum (WEF), a public mouthpiece for the global Davos 'elite'.
In 2016 around the time of India's demonetisation Apple CEO Tim Cook stated "We're going to kill cash. Nobody likes to carry around cash." A year later Apple Pay Cash was announced - a deliberate conflation of language to confuse folks as to what (physical) cash is, and of course to help usher in the cashless society. This year we have the headlines continuing with Apple CEO Tim Cook wants to end money — and everyone working in financial technology should be paying attention where Cook is quoted as saying "Apple's CEO says he hopes to be alive to see the end of money."
It is important to watch what occurs in Sweden to understand the future of cash and money. Sweden is at the forefront of the elimination of physical cash and cash transactions in The West. Having lived there 2011-14 I have much experience of it and last year I discussed it in a podcast about "Paper and Plastic Currencies & The Cashless Society" with Smaulgld
I explain that what Sweden did, unlike India, was to remove from circulation the smaller coins instead of large banknotes such that the lowest-value coin circulating was equivalent to 10 cents, forcing people to use cards to save money due to the rounding-up of figures (Swedish Rounding) at the till when shopping. This was an interesting and detailed comment by a Swedish listener about how Sweden became so cashless:
Old Woman In Sweden Becomes The Latest Victim of the War on Cash:
Earlier this year China Uncensored published a video China Is Getting Rid of Cash which detailed how China now leads the world in cashless payments.
Innovations about how we use money are being developed leading to a convergence of new technologies and computer networks and software which will have a serious impact on our societies going forward. Managing personal identity in the digital world whilst eliminating it from the physical one is at the heart of it.
What enthusiasts call Blockchain or (central banks call) Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) is mostly still in the early stages of being experimented with by governments and financial institutions to develop digital cash and asset management products.
Blockchain is a non-centralised, distributed network database that maintains a continuously growing list of ordered records (so-called 'blocks' which joined together which form a chain) duplicated and shared by each participating member of the network. It was first developed to support the bitcoin crypto-currency and the many digital crypto-currencies which have adapted and evolved from its original software codebase. Other applications that are in the finance arena are now being proposed and discovered in areas where global verification of data and proof of the validity is required. For example:
However despite the promises, there are some serious hurdles to overcome with blockchain as former software entrepreneur, now hedge-fund manager Erik Townsend of MacroVoices points out in his 17-page paper blockchain debunked.
In 2015 an in-depth interview with Harald Malmgren, an economist, veteran political 'fixer' and former US presidential advisor to multiple administrations was published under the title of "Cash as a Policy Tool ". It is a highly insightful interview which described from a technocratic and institutional perspective how cash is used and the US & Europe are developing cashless systems and why. He writes (my emphasis-added):
Banks in the US and Europe are trying to develop a cashless transactions system. The concept is to establish a comprehensive ledger for a business or a person that records everything received and spent, and all of the assets held – mortgages, investment portfolios, debts, contractual financial obligations, and anything else of market value including pleasure boats, automobiles, and other machinery. There would be no need for cash because the ledger would tell you and anyone you were considering a transaction with how much is available and would be transactable at any specific moment.
Central banks and governments would inevitably encourage even further consolidation so that all significant financial flows and all debts and assets could be monitored in real time, enabling policies and regulations to be adapted to the realities of daily life.
Cash is problematic to banks. It is expensive to manage, hard to take from customers and, worst of all, it is a possible gaping wound, if a bank run occurs. In a world without cash, customers would be forced to remain within the banking system, where all sorts of fees can be discretely and quietly shaven off millions of accounts
Governments would very much like such ledgers to exist because they could view everything that is taking place financially in real time, including ability to evaluate net worth, patterns of spending and of earned and unearned income, and of course, an instant assessment of all taxable activities. Governments would be able to gauge overall economic activity in real time, no longer needing to wait for months the collection of revenues and sales of businesses and surveys of consumer spending.
June 4, 2018 - Remarks of Commissioner Rostin Behnam at the BFI Summit
“Fostering Open, Transparent, Competitive, And Financially Sound Markets” United Nations Plaza, New York, NY (as with Harald's interview, this really is a must-read):
The work of this summit could not be more vital. We are literally discussing a new world. Just as the founders of the United Nations spoke with optimism in 1948, so we may be hopeful about the future. Anything is possible. With your wisdom and guidance, we can transform this world into something wonderful. But in every transformation, there is the possibility that progress won’t march forward in the straight line we as optimists tend to envision. If we are not thoughtful, if we do not remain ever diligent to the movements within the transformation, we may unleash corruption, criminality, and division on a greater scale. Blockchain could become a source for repression and totalitarianism. The work before us is daunting and difficult. But, the rewards could be amazing and game changing. Our cooperation could heal the divisions that torment our world as we confront tragedy throughout our torn planet.
But virtual currencies may – will – become part of the economic practices of any country, anywhere. Let me repeat that: these currencies are not going away and they will proliferate to every economy and every part of the planet. Some places, small economies, may become dependent on virtual assets for survival. And, these currencies will be outside traditional monetary intermediaries, like government, banks, investors, ministries, or international organizations.
We are witnessing a technological revolution. Perhaps we are witnessing a modern miracle.
I started by mentioning the late Secretary General, Dag Hammarskjöld. At a dinner in 1957, he said that “the work for peace is basically a work for the most elementary of human rights: the right of everyone to security and freedom from fear.”
Blockchain is more than technology: it is an advance that reaches out into every aspect of life. We could use Blockchain to address the most basic, the most primal problems on our planet: corruption, income distribution, poverty, food, and health care. And, the fear billions of people experience everyday as they try to survive.
As a young child, I would come to this building in search of solutions to the problems of the world. Now, today, we may have found one of those solutions – bigger, bolder, more comprehensive, and more effective than anything imagined before.
11 September 2017 (US-AID): IDENTITY IN A DIGITAL AGE: INFRASTRUCTURE FOR INCLUSIVE DEVELOPMENT
There may be no single factor that affects a person’s ability to share in the gains of global development -- to receive services and be represented -- as much as having an official identity. Identity is tied to voting rights, financial inclusion, land ownership, education, and can even help protect against human trafficking or child marriage. In many ways, the roughly 1.1 billion people who lack official identity are invisible, discounted, and left behind. Yet the complex political and social forces behind identity systems are often overlooked or misunderstood, leading to inefficiencies and missed opportunities for inclusive and sustainable ID systems...
19 June 2017 (Reuters): Accenture, Microsoft team up on blockchain-based digital ID network:
Accenture Plc and Microsoft Corp are teaming up to build a digital ID network using blockchain technology, as part of a United Nations-supported project to provide legal identification to 1.1 billion people worldwide with no official documents.
Contactless technologies (for payment especially) are part of the classic boiling-frogs strategy being implemented to soften us up to having microchip implants or e-skin/tattoos.
Contactless technology is in your pocket if you've got an Android phone with wireless NFC support built-in.
Contactless will inevitably lead to biometrics as authorities and big-business intend to cajole us physically to consent to implementing The Mark of The Beast ourselves, voluntarily.
WEF: Empowering next-generation implantable brain interfaces (Timothy Constandinou)
AP: Swedish rail operator accepts microchip tickets
Wearable electronic skin:
Employee microchip implants raise ethical questions:
(Wikipedia) Aadhaar (English: Foundation) is a 12-digit unique identity number that can be obtained by residents of India, based on their biometric and demographic data.
Governments, big-business, financial institutions and 'elites' of Davos who publish via the World Economic Forum are heavily promoting:
What would have seemed impossible even a generation ago is now becoming realised. A globally distributed identity database maintaining records on each and every individual is already being built. Digital currencies are being created and using ledgers where every transaction that takes place is recorded and can be monitored in real-time.
In the worst case scenario the social-credit system of China and biometric database and associated technology of India's Aadhaar will be rolled-out to the rest of the world. Universal Basic Income (UBI) will be provided as a bribe to get people to register their identity, initially with contactless technology and eventually obtain their unique biometric data. UBI will stop being 'universal' when it becomes means-tested by means of a citizens social credit score. People who refuse to participate in such schemes will not be able to opt-out of the financial system because cash transactions will be increasingly limited or eliminated through demonetisation and restrictions on cash for all but the smallest of purchases. By 2030, nobody will be able to opt-out as the UN goals for digitally registering all births around the globe are met. Our ability to move freely, travel long AND short distance will be impacted, civil liberties will be further eroded, no group of people will be able to assemble together without alerting 'authorities' through their digital footprint.
Do I have a wild imagination? Well, it's better than having NO IMAGINATION!
This is just the tip-of-the-iceberg of what kind of tyranny can occur if we do nothing. Paying in physical cash anonymously and privately is one of the few remaining liberties we have left today.
It should be obvious by now that making society cashless is so much more than just eliminating the way that we make payments. There are many implications beyond the tired old government tropes of stamping out crime and money-laundering, tax-avoidance, theft and so-on. Power and profit come into it, but it's ultimately about CONTROL; of you, I and everyone else on this planet.
The digital society requires a reliable and robust infrastructure, much of the developing world in particular are yet to have the permanent high-speed internet connections and reliable electricity supply that the developed nations take for granted. (Will the usual suspects (IMF/World Bank) be funding e-infrastructure projects and then pulling their old 'economic hitman' tricks or will the new AIIB?) What happens when there's a major system failure and there's no option to pay with cash?
Biometrics are not fool-proof. Fingerprints can be retrieved from a smooth surface, iris templates can be extracted from high resolution photos, video and voice recognition systems can be fooled by recordings and new software. Surveillance systems can identify people with or without their consent. People leave digital footprints wherever they go, online or offline, Artificial Intelligence systems can be used to help identify them. Should they be collecting this data? How long should it exist for? Who should have the right to access it and why? Will citizens have a right to access their digital profiles? Digital profiles can be used to target members of society for their political views. What are the other possible 'unintended consequences'? How much do we trust organisations with our data?
The leading currency printer (one of just a handful globally) De La Rue's annual report reiterated "The task of ensuring that everyone on the planet has a legal and secure ID by 2030" by UNHRC's 'Sustainable Development' goals. Should we even be have a digital ID? Why shouldn't we have a choice instead of being opted-in at birth? Davos's World Economic Forum tells us 5 predictions for what life will be like in 2030.
Is humanity being softened-up and encouraged to become pets like our dogs? How Does a Dog Microchip Work?
Find out the details and why you should consider getting one.
On an even more sinister level, the technological developments, media and cultural engineers are championing their use for transhumanism, body modifications and extensions 'to improve' our natural attributes. Do we want to 'evolve' in such antinomian ways?
In recent generations homosexuality has been normalised in The West for children, and transgenderism is now the next cultural and social taboo being pushed onto us by elites (why are governments and banks pushing homosexuality and transgenderism in the name of 'diversity'?). It's no longer science fiction to see that Sperm cells can be grown from human skin and animals like sheep can be grown outside the womb. Are they signalling an end to the time of natural and traditional families made of people born from mothers? Will we (continue to) be farmed, manipulated, controlled and kept-asleep from cradle-to-grave (albeit in the future as in The Matrix movies)?
Do we want everything in our homes to become a part of "The Internet Of Things (MS)" and for everything outside to become 'smart' including our urban environment? Do we want the likes of Microsoft CityNext and Google Sidewalk Labs to be planning our cities and how we live in them?
Are these new technologies even safe? There have been numerous warnings for example about 5G and health, not to mention more nefarious uses. What can we do in the face of messages like "Ready or not, 5G is coming?"
Finally, it's important to understand that our financial system is buit on dishonourable debt which is not viable long-term as national government debts mount and the total (including 'private' sector) world debt is is in the region of at least $230 trillion. Do we still need central banks? Even further still, maybe it's time we rethink our money altogether?
16 June 2018 - Bilderberg and the Digital New World Order by Truth Stream Media:
Max Igan interviewed in 2017 discussing the coming digital changes and how cashless is at the core of it.
(Send me suggestions and I'll add them here!)
You'll see below that it's not all doom & gloom for cash and that it's even actually growing in places, but we need to be ever vigilant and make sure that it is never sidelined or eliminated because the day that happens will be the day we lose our freedom.
Independent research by the group Critical Thinking has also reached similar conclusions:
Feel free to reproduce and remix this content providing that you insert a link back to here - this page is a living document so expect changes in future!