The Global War on Cash – Lessons from History


A much detailed needull on demonetization.

If payments systems users were that eager to adopt non-physical cash, they would have done so by now. Attempts to provide alternatives date back 25 years or more. Yet physical notes and coins remain in circulation and are the only legal tender in most jurisdictions.

Physical cash’s variable unit costs are progressive — the less wealth you have, the less of the systemic costs is passed onto you as a currency user. Stored-value card systems impose a cost on users and that cost is regressive — the less wealth you have, the higher the unit cost becomes.

Smartphone, “app” and NFC/virtualisation based systems impose an even bigger cost on users due to the high up-front purchase price of a smartphone. Even in cultures which have exhibited a fondness for novelty, technological advances and gadgetry like Japan, a payment system based on smartphones, apps and NFC technology have not proved to be transformative to the payments systems in that country.

The complete article

Clive — Naked Capitalism

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