The Abolition Of Cash

McAvennie

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Mar 13, 2003
Messages
4,029
Reaction score
1,922
Points
184
It is quite scary to think how things could go if somehow all the major banks were attacked and our savings somehow wiped on one go. If you go full tinfoil hat and imagine that the elite and shape-shifting lizards keep their funds and in one fell swoop create a haves and have nots class war. Combine it with an attack on the Internet and mobile comms signals and suddenly you would have a very frightening scenario. I'd give society a month tops...

Back in the real world, I was shocked to be charged 50p for paying by card in an independent newsagent on my last trip back to the UK.

The number of ways - pure thievery - that are already out there for scamming us when paying by card. The transaction fee, as if there is some poor worker somewhere having to process your transaction...

I once got charged a fee for printing my concert ticket at home using my ink and paper! How on earth is that allowed!?
 

Vardoger

I'm #1 so why try harder
Joined
Jun 3, 2004
Messages
6,081
Reaction score
5,518
Points
309
Location
Scandinavia
Even your shopping of some used records on a second hand market will be registered if the sellers want you to pay with wireless cards or with NFC on mobile phones. Soon we will have no choice, even when giving money to beggars.
 

McAvennie

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Mar 13, 2003
Messages
4,029
Reaction score
1,922
Points
184
Wait til someone spots the first beggar who takes chip and pin payments.
 

Ringo

Musky Sly Old Foxy Stoat
Joined
Feb 24, 2005
Messages
3,013
Reaction score
4,810
Points
184
Location
Stockholm
I still use cash and cheques.
Occasionally, I give members of my family money (or they give me money), so cheques and cash come in handy.
I've also had to use cheques to pay tradesmen, such as my plumber and (more recently) the man who replaced my windscreen. None of these guys are set up for electronic transactions or cards.
You could just as easily write the amount in the card and transfer the cash via a banking app. They wouldn't then have to cash ot or stand in line at the bank to pay it in.

As for tradesmen, I don't understand it. They must have a company bank account. So all they need to do is tell you the number and you can transfer the cash. Then and there. They'll get it quicker than waiting for a cheque to clear. Of course, that leaves a paper trail for them and they would have to declare that income. I have never paid cash for any delivery, service or repair in Sweden.

This may be a Stockholm thing, as Xanatic said that they experience Sweden differently. I'm not sure how prevelant card/electronic payments are outside of the major cities.

I have my own company and send mostly invoices. However, I do accept card payments too. Happily. Anyone heard of iZettle? I've used them for years and now they're in the UK too. Companies get a free card reader and you can start taking payments tomorrow for Visa, MasterCard and Amex.
 

Spookdaddy

Cuckoo
Joined
May 24, 2006
Messages
6,987
Reaction score
8,942
Points
294
Location
Midwich
...What safe guard is cold hard cash under the mattress?

Cash and currency only hold their value if there is a system of ownership and accountancy behind it's transactions. Otherwise it's just paper. If the banks collapse, and the economy goes into melt down, then paper money will be just as useless as a plastic card. Wheelbarrows of the stuff won't help you if there is a financial meltdown...
I tend to agree. There's something reassuring about the greasy feel of a wad of cash - but in the hypothesised meltdown it would probably be better used as toilet roll. In fact toilet roll would probably be a more effective currency (and I'm not being entirely flippant - ask anyone who has ever run out).
 

XBergMann

Fear not, I mean no harm to your planet
Joined
Jul 22, 2009
Messages
437
Reaction score
877
Points
109
Electronic money is great until there is a power cut or a system disturbance such as a powerful solar flare from the sun damaging servers and the supply grid. We are informed that a strong enough solar flare or coronal discharge from the sun has the potential to knock out the internet.

Also one has to consider nuclear weapons, Russia and North Korea are just 2 countries that have either threatened neighbours with nuclear attack or tried to justify using nuclear weapons in the battlefield. Again the blast from a nuclear weapon is accompanied by a strong pulse which has the ability to damage the supply network for the internet.

If you money is sitting on a server somewhere and you rely on the internet to move it around then an attack could bring down the system leaving you penniless.

Under such circumstances cash would be useful.
 

Vardoger

I'm #1 so why try harder
Joined
Jun 3, 2004
Messages
6,081
Reaction score
5,518
Points
309
Location
Scandinavia
Electronic money is great until there is a power cut or a system disturbance such as a powerful solar flare from the sun damaging servers and the supply grid. We are informed that a strong enough solar flare or coronal discharge from the sun has the potential to knock out the internet.

Also one has to consider nuclear weapons, Russia and North Korea are just 2 countries that have either threatened neighbours with nuclear attack or tried to justify using nuclear weapons in the battlefield. Again the blast from a nuclear weapon is accompanied by a strong pulse which has the ability to damage the supply network for the internet.

If you money is sitting on a server somewhere and you rely on the internet to move it around then an attack could bring down the system leaving you penniless.

Under such circumstances cash would be useful.
It doesn't have to be nuclear weapons. It's enough with a large sunburst.
If the solar storm of 1859 happened today, the electrical circuits and electronic circuits on entire continents would have been wiped out. Suddenly all your money is wiped out, perhaps also your debt, but that doesn't really matter there is no money to give and no money to get. The £ 500 pound note you forgot you had in your cupboard will again be worth a lot.
 

Ringo

Musky Sly Old Foxy Stoat
Joined
Feb 24, 2005
Messages
3,013
Reaction score
4,810
Points
184
Location
Stockholm
Electronic money is great until there is a power cut or a system disturbance such as a powerful solar flare from the sun damaging servers and the supply grid. We are informed that a strong enough solar flare or coronal discharge from the sun has the potential to knock out the internet.

Also one has to consider nuclear weapons, Russia and North Korea are just 2 countries that have either threatened neighbours with nuclear attack or tried to justify using nuclear weapons in the battlefield. Again the blast from a nuclear weapon is accompanied by a strong pulse which has the ability to damage the supply network for the internet.

If you money is sitting on a server somewhere and you rely on the internet to move it around then an attack could bring down the system leaving you penniless.

Under such circumstances cash would be useful.
Unless everybody instantly withdraws their pay cheques and has no money on the bank, then this sort of event would effect all of us, both directly and indirectly.

However, in the event of a nuclear war or an systems melting solar flare, is your first plan to go shopping anyway? OK, I'm being rather sarcastic there and I'm just playing devils advocate here but again, what good is cash if the system used to quantify it is gone? We may as well use stones. The cash registers in the stores won't be connected to anything (and won't work anywat as the electrical grid will be fried). The banking systems will have collapsed. The cash can't be banked or accounted and taken care of so the actual paper cash money won't be worth anything. Meanwhile outside, looters are going crazy and smashing the place up, stealing everything that isn't nailed down.

The supply chains will not function. All the major financial institutions will have crashed so there will be a 0 value on all currency. Major corporations will have their wealth wiped out. They can't manufacture goods, food, fuel etc as they they can't buy in raw materials or even then, pay their workers. How will they pay the workers to repair the power stations (that are fried anyway)?

The only people to see a "value" in cash after such an event will no doubt try to hoarde it and accumulate it but it will have zero value. When the systems eventually come back on line, we'll have to start again as the idea of accumulated wealth will be gone. And what will you be using your cash to buy then? Because if it all goes to shit in a bucket, my rifle and this big hammer will get me more than your money.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Doc

XBergMann

Fear not, I mean no harm to your planet
Joined
Jul 22, 2009
Messages
437
Reaction score
877
Points
109
Unless everybody instantly withdraws their pay cheques and has no money on the bank, then this sort of event would effect all of us, both directly and indirectly.

However, in the event of a nuclear war or an systems melting solar flare, is your first plan to go shopping anyway? OK, I'm being rather sarcastic there and I'm just playing devils advocate here but again, what good is cash if the system used to quantify it is gone? We may as well use stones. The cash registers in the stores won't be connected to anything (and won't work anywat as the electrical grid will be fried). The banking systems will have collapsed. The cash can't be banked or accounted and taken care of so the actual paper cash money won't be worth anything. Meanwhile outside, looters are going crazy and smashing the place up, stealing everything that isn't nailed down.

The supply chains will not function. All the major financial institutions will have crashed so there will be a 0 value on all currency. Major corporations will have their wealth wiped out. They can't manufacture goods, food, fuel etc as they they can't buy in raw materials or even then, pay their workers. How will they pay the workers to repair the power stations (that are fried anyway)?

The only people to see a "value" in cash after such an event will no doubt try to hoarde it and accumulate it but it will have zero value. When the systems eventually come back on line, we'll have to start again as the idea of accumulated wealth will be gone. And what will you be using your cash to buy then? Because if it all goes to shit in a bucket, my rifle and this big hammer will get me more than your money.
I was referring to localised nuclear agression such as Russia's battlefield nuclear weapons not all out planetwide destruction.
 

Krepostnoi

Confronting the challenge of porcine fragility
Joined
Jul 9, 2012
Messages
3,797
Reaction score
8,172
Points
209
It doesn't have to be TEOTWAWKI, though. The Russians have lived through not one but two massive economic disasters in the past 25 years which wiped out the value of any cash in their hand or savings in their bank account, assuming they could even get to withdraw it. Much of the rest of the world bumbled on without really noticing. Malaysia and elsewhere in SE Asia were hit hard in the 98 crash, and Argentina had a disastrous period relatively recently. Lots of people got burnt, but the world kept on turning. With that in mind, I can see why people would distrust a shift over to a non-cash system, and even why some of the more prepper-minded folks talk so much about precious metals.

My preferred currency for smoothing my escape out of Bartertown will be razor blades. I use them anyway, so no harm in having a few extra put on one side. It's not like they go off.
 

rynner2

Gone But Not Forgotten
(ACCOUNT RETIRED)
Joined
Aug 7, 2001
Messages
55,233
Reaction score
9,134
Points
284
The whole point of the internet when originally designed (as Arpanet) was for it to be a flexible and robust way of passing meassages in the event that a few nodes in the network were knocked out by enemy action or natural disasters.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ARPANET

I'm pretty sure that that flexible functionality will have been retained and improved upon in the years since. This would no doubt involve the use of redundancy, ie, keeping copies of important data in several different places as back-ups.

Is all my money sitting in a server in a bank in Falmouth? I'm sure the answer would be, no way!! So if every bank in town was suddenly destroyed somehow, but I survived, I'd probably still be able to access my accounts via internet banking. Somewhere copies of my accounts would be found and accessed, and I could continue to shuffle my electronic money around much as before.

The banks themselves have a vested interest in the system working, and no doubt they have technical teams constantly studying their systems and their internet links, trying to spot weaknesses and trouble spots, and devising and toughening their servers and networks to cope with every foreseeable problem.

So I'm more optimistic about the long-term survival of electronic money than some here seem to be. Of course, there will always be glitches, but sooner or later they get fixed, precisely because the problems were foreseen and recovery plans were in place.

Right now there are power cuts in this part of the country, thanks to the ongoing wind storm knocking out the transmission lines, and falling trees causing yet more damage. But we know from experience that in a few hours or days the power will be restored.

It's possible, however, that there is some limit to the damage a power or computer network can sustain before the whole thing collapses like a house of cards. I don't know what that limit is, but you can be sure that some specialists in the power and computing industries do know what it is, and are constantly working to make their systems even tougher and more resilient.

Live long and prosper!
 

Naughty_Felid

kneesy earsy nosey
Joined
Mar 11, 2008
Messages
8,591
Reaction score
11,538
Points
294
It doesn't have to be TEOTWAWKI, though. The Russians have lived through not one but two massive economic disasters in the past 25 years which wiped out the value of any cash in their hand or savings in their bank account, assuming they could even get to withdraw it. Much of the rest of the world bumbled on without really noticing. Malaysia and elsewhere in SE Asia were hit hard in the 98 crash, and Argentina had a disastrous period relatively recently. Lots of people got burnt, but the world kept on turning. With that in mind, I can see why people would distrust a shift over to a non-cash system, and even why some of the more prepper-minded folks talk so much about precious metals.

My preferred currency for smoothing my escape out of Bartertown will be razor blades. I use them anyway, so no harm in having a few extra put on one side. It's not like they go off.

If you talking about survival after a catastrophic event, than razor blades isn't too bad. Any toiletries are useful bartering items. "Women's products", toilet paper, etc.

I spoke to a guy from Christchurch, New Zealand that said homebrew was bartered around after their last big quake and people did very well out of it.

It's actually quite useful to look around and see what you have to trade should a big catastrophic event takes place or what skills you have to barter with as well.
 

Xanatic*

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Mar 10, 2015
Messages
4,410
Reaction score
4,757
Points
159
Rynner: That's not quite the scenario we are talking about. We are talking about losing your electronic cash, not just losing access to it. Besides, the internet is a lot more vulnerable than it should be. Just think about how easy a government could seize the assets of the opposition in a cashless society.
 

Mythopoeika

I am a meat popsicle
Joined
Sep 18, 2001
Messages
44,032
Reaction score
35,973
Points
309
Location
Inside a starship, watching puny humans from afar
If you talking about survival after a catastrophic event, than razor blades isn't too bad. Any toiletries are useful bartering items. "Women's products", toilet paper, etc.

I spoke to a guy from Christchurch, New Zealand that said homebrew was bartered around after their last big quake and people did very well out of it.

It's actually quite useful to look around and see what you have to trade should a big catastrophic event takes place or what skills you have to barter with as well.
My own thoughts are that bottles of whisky, brandy, vodka etc. in different sizes would be a very useful stash that could be traded in an economic emergency.
 

rynner2

Gone But Not Forgotten
(ACCOUNT RETIRED)
Joined
Aug 7, 2001
Messages
55,233
Reaction score
9,134
Points
284
Rynner: That's not quite the scenario we are talking about. We are talking about losing your electronic cash, not just losing access to it. Besides, the internet is a lot more vulnerable than it should be. Just think about how easy a government could seize the assets of the opposition in a cashless society.
Well, tell me how 'easy' it is. I'm willing to learn!

But I think the internet is more resilient than you realise.
 

Naughty_Felid

kneesy earsy nosey
Joined
Mar 11, 2008
Messages
8,591
Reaction score
11,538
Points
294
My own thoughts are that bottles of whisky, brandy, vodka etc. in different sizes would be a very useful stash that could be traded in an economic emergency.
The trouble with me is they never last long enough to form a "stash'. :(
 

Ringo

Musky Sly Old Foxy Stoat
Joined
Feb 24, 2005
Messages
3,013
Reaction score
4,810
Points
184
Location
Stockholm
Rynner: That's not quite the scenario we are talking about. We are talking about losing your electronic cash, not just losing access to it. Besides, the internet is a lot more vulnerable than it should be. Just think about how easy a government could seize the assets of the opposition in a cashless society.
I've heard that the internet is very vulnerable too. Just think about how the internet works - it's still just physical cables under the sea. If someone systematically took them out, then we'd be in trouble.
 

Mythopoeika

I am a meat popsicle
Joined
Sep 18, 2001
Messages
44,032
Reaction score
35,973
Points
309
Location
Inside a starship, watching puny humans from afar
The trouble with me is they never last long enough to form a "stash'. :(
I could do this...if I had spare money, that is.
I don't drink (much), so the stash would be untouched.
 

Xanatic*

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Mar 10, 2015
Messages
4,410
Reaction score
4,757
Points
159
Rynner: On a scale from 1 to 10? The Cyprus example mentioned earlier shows it well. They could seize your assets without needing to leave the house.
 

rynner2

Gone But Not Forgotten
(ACCOUNT RETIRED)
Joined
Aug 7, 2001
Messages
55,233
Reaction score
9,134
Points
284
I've heard that the internet is very vulnerable too. Just think about how the internet works - it's still just physical cables under the sea. If someone systematically took them out, then we'd be in trouble.
No, a lot of it goes via satellite nowadays. And microwave links too, on shorter distances overland. (Eg, Goonhilly, Cornwall, to London.)

Plus a lot of the newer undersea cables are optical fibres, which can transmit much more information than wires can. And every new cable is a new link in the net, making it easier to switch data to a different route between nodes.

And 'systematically' taking these cables out is not something your average terrorist with a snorkel could do. There are hundreds if not thousands of cables, world wide. You would need a sea-going ship at least.
Undersea cables do sometime break, for various reasons, but modern highly manoeuverable cable layers can quickly find the breaks and repair them.

Years ago I came across a website which would list all the nodes visited between eg, my computer, and the FTMB, say.
It, or a successor, would be an interesting thing to see again. Has anyone else seen such a thing? If so, please post a link!
 

Ringo

Musky Sly Old Foxy Stoat
Joined
Feb 24, 2005
Messages
3,013
Reaction score
4,810
Points
184
Location
Stockholm
No, a lot of it goes via satellite nowadays. And microwave links too, on shorter distances overland. (Eg, Goonhilly, Cornwall, to London.)

Plus a lot of the newer undersea cables are optical fibres, which can transmit much more information than wires can. And every new cable is a new link in the net, making it easier to switch data to a different route between nodes.

And 'systematically' taking these cables out is not something your average terrorist with a snorkel could do. There are hundreds if not thousands of cables, world wide. You would need a sea-going ship at least.
Undersea cables do sometime break, for various reasons, but modern highly manoeuverable cable layers can quickly find the breaks and repair them.

Years ago I came across a website which would list all the nodes visited between eg, my computer, and the FTMB, say.
It, or a successor, would be an interesting thing to see again. Has anyone else seen such a thing? If so, please post a link!
I was under the impression that very litle regular internet traffic is sent by satellite although I stand to be corrected. You're right in that most are fibre optic cables but they are still vulnerable to a planned attack (Russian submarines anyone?). Time for my tin foil hat.
 

Xanatic*

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Mar 10, 2015
Messages
4,410
Reaction score
4,757
Points
159
Back in 2011, the country of Armenia lost their internet access when a woman accidentally cut the cable.
 

Mythopoeika

I am a meat popsicle
Joined
Sep 18, 2001
Messages
44,032
Reaction score
35,973
Points
309
Location
Inside a starship, watching puny humans from afar
Fibre optics are still vulnerable to an EMP, because they use electronics, power etc.
 

Shady

DEATHS Kitty
Joined
Apr 24, 2011
Messages
8,695
Reaction score
11,593
Points
284
And what would all of you do if the internet did go down, for say, a week?
 

rynner2

Gone But Not Forgotten
(ACCOUNT RETIRED)
Joined
Aug 7, 2001
Messages
55,233
Reaction score
9,134
Points
284
Back in 2011, the country of Armenia lost their internet access when a woman accidentally cut the cable.
It was hardly the internet, then, if cutting one cable could disconnect it!

More like an embryo internet!
 

Anonymous-50446

Gone But Not Forgotten
(ACCOUNT RETIRED)
Joined
Jun 27, 2015
Messages
8,858
Reaction score
10,902
Points
279
It was hardly the internet, then, if cutting one cable could disconnect it!

More like an embryo internet!
Most of the optical networks are arranged in ring topologies with 'clockwise' and 'anticlockwise' routes. If one route is cut traffic can be routed back round the other way, as it were.
 

rynner2

Gone But Not Forgotten
(ACCOUNT RETIRED)
Joined
Aug 7, 2001
Messages
55,233
Reaction score
9,134
Points
284
Rynner: On a scale from 1 to 10? The Cyprus example mentioned earlier shows it well. They could seize your assets without needing to leave the house.
Give details. Who are 'They'? Which house? How do they do it?

All these woolly references remind me of the woo-woos who run about with their hands in the air every time someone reports a new asteroid is heading our way. :twisted:
 
Top