The Abolition Of Cash

Xanatic*

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"They" being a government who wishes to. I don't see how a reference to a specific event in a specific country just 3 years ago counts as wooly. It happens often that someone gets their financial assets seized, due to criminal convictions for example. Do you want a diagram?
 

paranoid420

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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.
Big big trouble. The world depends on the internet now. The new Werner Herzog doc is about that, what would happen if the internet died. Last big New York blackout there wasn't even a functioning radio station on the air. When the net goes down everything is going down. Bank machines, emergency 911 operators, utilities. The internet wasn't designed to be the backbone of all society. All the things that worked fine before the internet, like your phone, now are totally linked to the internet.

Criminals are already using non-cash ways to trade with each other.
Stolen works of art with a known value, for example.
Cash not required.
I know a few drug dealers who take electronic email bank transfers now.
 

Mythopoeika

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Big big trouble. The world depends on the internet now. The new Werner Herzog doc is about that, what would happen if the internet died. Last big New York blackout there wasn't even a functioning radio station on the air. When the net goes down everything is going down. Bank machines, emergency 911 operators, utilities. The internet wasn't designed to be the backbone of all society. All the things that worked fine before the internet, like your phone, now are totally linked to the internet.
Spot on.
I find it worrying.
 

Jim

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Spot on.
I find it worrying.
To make matter worse nearly all modern electronics are very sensitive to high EMF: car sensors, computers, security systems, etc., etc. Usual activity by the sun could destroy - disrupt most of our present electronics technology. I'm talking about a catastrophe of much larger magnitude than just having the internet going out. Only the military has some rad hardened electronics that is likely to survive in a high EMF environment.

BTW I remember a local blackout. The 1st thing to happen was the traffic quickly became tooth and nail, everyone for themselves, quite dangerous since no stop lights worked. There just wasn't enough policemen to handle the intersections. Nothing to run pumps to stop flooding, unless you had a gasoline generator. Peoples food all went out to the trash no refrigeration. Not having internet was only a minor inconvenience compared with other issues.
 

Mythopoeika

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Food production and transport is the single most important thing. If that is affected by EMP, we're done for.
 

Jim

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Food production and transport is the single most important thing. If that is affected by EMP, we're done for.
I was making you aware of the effects of a local blackout only that I experienced, as mentioned.
 

Mythopoeika

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I was making you aware of the effects of a local blackout only that I experienced, as mentioned.
Yep. I'm thinking though, that sun flare activity, if it is prolonged, could affect the whole planet. Only the most backward countries (not depending so much on electrical infrastructure) could survive that.
 

Jim

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Yep. I'm thinking though, that sun flare activity, if it is prolonged, could affect the whole planet. Only the most backward countries (not depending so much on electrical infrastructure) could survive that.
It could bring us to a bloody screeching halt.
 

Cochise

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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.
The internet was designed for a few thousand institutions to talk to each other. It has not been redesigned for the millions (billions) now using it. Things like streaming video and cloud services only add to the strain. It is utterly useless to you personally if your details are distributed on 200 servers round the world if your local internet is down and you have no personal transport. I repeat, the internet up our valley has been out for something like 12 weeks out of the last six months - how would the businesses further up the valley survive if they couldn't take cash or cheques?

As far as your electronic assets being seized - anyone in a bank can put a lock on your electronic assets from their desk if so ordered, either by a police force confusing you with a terrorist or a money launderer or by a government wishing to balance its books. The latter actually happened in Cyprus by order of the EU. It's not an imaginary scenario.

I wouldn't hide my money under my mattress, I think I can do rather better than that.
 
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James_H

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Cash is becoming much less commonly used in mainland China. People use WeChat pay, a phone app, instead. Cynics may note that this conveniently tracks all your transactions and locations — the wechat app has a close relationship with the Chinese government.

On my last visit to China, a friend owed me money so I asked him to get some cash out for me. He mentioned that this was the first time he had handled cash in months.
 

Xanatic*

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I was in Amsterdam last week. I was surprised by how few places accepted credit cards.
 

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A timely resurrection for this thread. Two days we saw significant disruption (including stranded travellers) when just the VISA system only partially crashed for about a day in the UK.
 

Peripart

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A timely resurrection for this thread. Two days we saw significant disruption (including stranded travellers) when just the VISA system only partially crashed for about a day in the UK.
I think I read that most of mainland Europe was affected. Shops probably didn't realise it was just Visa, so had signs up saying "cash only" (it would seem that MasterCard had no such issues).

I desperately needed petrol, but fortunately, our local Shell station has a free cashpoint, so all was OK.

It's funny, though - despite what this thread may have been predicting, I always carry cash with me, to use for small amounts, but getting out £40 on Friday, and immediately blowing the lot on fuel, felt quite painful!
 
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Analogue Boy

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I always carry enough cash in my wallet just for incidents like the recent visa crash. I suppose it’s part of being Analogue Boy, but those who are pressing for a cashless society have a little too much faith in the system. I think a few more TSB and VISA customers may now be sharing my view.
 

Schrodinger's Zebra

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A timely resurrection for this thread. Two days we saw significant disruption (including stranded travellers) when just the VISA system only partially crashed for about a day in the UK.
Very good point, and I'm sure it won't be the last incident of that kind.

I always carry enough cash in my wallet just for incidents like the recent visa crash. I suppose it’s part of being Analogue Boy, but those who are pressing for a cashless society have a little too much faith in the system. I think a few more TSB and VISA customers may now be sharing my view.
Oh definitely; there seems to be an overarching faith in a digital world with little understanding of how easily it could all go belly-up.

I personally think people nowadays who do everything via online and phone apps etc, would find it incredibly hard to cope if there was ever a more serious problem with digital payments (not that this situation recently wasn't bad enough, but imagine one that went on for much longer). Whereas those of us who still can use cash or cheques would cope much better.

Heck, youngsters nowadays* barely even know how proper handwriting, I doubt if they are taught how to write a cheque.


*That makes me sound old. I'm not. :D
 

Analogue Boy

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It’s not as if every new system they put in place is secure. I was recently paying for two coffees and as I was getting my usual card out to pay, the card reader automatically took the payment from a different contactless credit card in my wallet. That’s just too efficient and it wasn’t until I received my credit card statement I knew where the money had come from.
Incidentally, I insist on paper statements through the post so these things can be checked as well as notifying the bank (in my own little way) that a paper trail is something people still want and need.
 

Schrodinger's Zebra

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It’s not as if every new system they put in place is secure. I was recently paying for two coffees and as I was getting my usual card out to pay, the card reader automatically took the payment from a different contactless credit card in my wallet. That’s just too efficient and it wasn’t until I received my credit card statement I knew where the money had come from.
Incidentally, I insist on paper statements through the post so these things can be checked as well as notifying the bank (in my own little way) that a paper trail is something people still want and need.
What the heck?! :eek: That shouldn't happen, surely? What if the other contactless card was for an account that had just enough money in for paying a direct debit, or something, and this unexpected payment meant there wasn't enough?

Heck, what if someone else's contactless card ended up being taken for the payment? (I know at this very moment there are people thinking "oh Zebs is just being silly, of course that could never happen" - so call me paranoid if you must, but I like to be in control of how I pay for things).

I thought we were safe enough not using our contactless cards as contactless, but I think it's time to invest in one of those RFID wallets (like we have for our passports).

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-33637492

(Or disable the contactless technology on the card :cool: )


And yes, we still get paper statements through the post too and we check them each time.
 

Vardoger

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It’s not as if every new system they put in place is secure. I was recently paying for two coffees and as I was getting my usual card out to pay, the card reader automatically took the payment from a different contactless credit card in my wallet. That’s just too efficient and it wasn’t until I received my credit card statement I knew where the money had come from.
Incidentally, I insist on paper statements through the post so these things can be checked as well as notifying the bank (in my own little way) that a paper trail is something people still want and need.
That's why you need RFID safe wallets these days. It also protect you from wireless skimmers.
 

Mythopoeika

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A timely resurrection for this thread. Two days we saw significant disruption (including stranded travellers) when just the VISA system only partially crashed for about a day in the UK.
Yes, this is an example of why cash is king!
 

GerdaWordyer

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In the U.S, cashless will make for a two-tiered society that disconveniences the poor. Our only income is Social Security, so we can just afford a cell phone that's strictly for phone calls and messages. No internet, no apps. We depend on cash and the debit card. (Good old plastic, when did that become old-fashioned?)
 

Yossarian

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In the U.S, cashless will make for a two-tiered society that disconveniences the poor. Our only income is Social Security, so we can just afford a cell phone that's strictly for phone calls and messages. No internet, no apps. We depend on cash and the debit card. (Good old plastic, when did that become old-fashioned?)
I think this often gets overlooked by those who see technology as something utopian - a cashless society would heavily discriminate against poor and marginalised people. I'd like to think that's something that's been overlooked by people with big ideas and not enough time spent considering the implications, though the conspiracy-minded in me would suggest that perhaps it's intentional.

I can't help but think, when handing over some spare change to a homeless person, or popping some of my change in a charity bucket, how all that's supposed to work if cash were abolished. Not just for those who can't afford a smart phone with a fancy banking app, but for those so marginalised they don't have a bank account - try opening an account without a passport or proof of address!

The VISA crash was a perfect example of why we can't put our faith in going cashless. Because if it's not the whole VISA system, it's one shop or service's connection going down, one bank cocking up - you're putting faith in fallible systems.

I still spend a fair bit of time and money in small businesses that don't have card machines, so am always in the habit of carrying cash regardless, thankfully.
 

hunck

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It’s not as if every new system they put in place is secure. I was recently paying for two coffees and as I was getting my usual card out to pay, the card reader automatically took the payment from a different contactless credit card in my wallet. That’s just too efficient and it wasn’t until I received my credit card statement I knew where the money had come from.
What?.. How far away from the reader d'you reckon the [wrong] card which made the payment was? I thought you had to swipe it really close. It'd be interesting to know over what distance they can work..
 

Ringo

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RFID technology works within a very small distance and contactless payment is about 4-5 cm max. If you place your wallet on or too near the reader, then yes it could read the wrong card.
 

dr wu

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Well, it's 2018 and me and Mr Zebra still use cash a lot, and we also regularly write cheques. We do not use online banking and do not transfer money via phone apps.

We're happy the way we are. :)
Neither does my wife and I....we rarely use any electronic systems that shuffle money around.....we do have credit cards of course ...but don't bank online or use smart phone apps like those. We mostly use cash when possible.
My 2 daughters think we are living in the stone age. LOL...
 

Mythopoeika

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Neither does my wife and I....we rarely use any electronic systems that shuffle money around.....we do have credit cards of course ...but don't bank online or use smart phone apps like those. We mostly use cash when possible.
My 2 daughters think we are living in the stone age. LOL...
You're living in the 'savvy' age.
 

Analogue Boy

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What?.. How far away from the reader d'you reckon the [wrong] card which made the payment was? I thought you had to swipe it really close. It'd be interesting to know over what distance they can work..
I estimate my wallet was about 10 cms from the contact point. This has been a known issue since 2015. (M&S coming in for some crticism then) The banks, of course, say 2-5 cms but outside engineers have hacked cards from further away.
All I know is the wrong card was used to make the payment and I had no control of that situation. I would have used cash but I needed that for the hospital car park.

I have an RFID shield wallet now.
 
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