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The Cashless Society is Almost Here – And With Some Very Sinister Implications

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January 11, 2018, 06:31:04 am teppezuhodd says: That is the best technology we have now
October 17, 2017, 01:25:20 am Christian40 says: It is good to type Mark is here again!  Smiley
October 16, 2017, 03:28:18 am Christian40 says: anyone else thinking that time is accelerating now? it seems im doing days in shorter time now is time being affected in some way?
September 24, 2017, 10:45:16 pm Psalm 51:17 says: The specific rule pertaining to the national anthem is found on pages A62-63 of the league rulebook. It states: “The National Anthem must be played prior to every NFL game, and all players must be on the sideline for the National Anthem. “During the National Anthem, players on the field and bench area should stand at attention, face the flag, hold helmets in their left hand, and refrain from talking. The home team should ensure that the American flag is in good condition. It should be pointed out to players and coaches that we continue to be judged by the public in this area of respect for the flag and our country. Failure to be on the field by the start of the National Anthem may result in discipline, such as fines, suspensions, and/or the forfeiture of draft choice(s) for violations of the above, including first offenses.”
September 20, 2017, 04:32:32 am Christian40 says: "The most popular Hepatitis B vaccine is nothing short of a witch’s brew including aluminum, formaldehyde, yeast, amino acids, and soy. Aluminum is a known neurotoxin that destroys cellular metabolism and function. Hundreds of studies link to the ravaging effects of aluminum. The other proteins and formaldehyde serve to activate the immune system and open up the blood-brain barrier. This is NOT a good thing."
http://www.naturalnews.com/2017-08-11-new-fda-approved-hepatitis-b-vaccine-found-to-increase-heart-attack-risk-by-700.html
September 19, 2017, 03:59:21 am Christian40 says: bbc international did a video about there street preaching they are good witnesses
September 14, 2017, 08:06:04 am Psalm 51:17 says: bro Mark Hunter on YT has some good, edifying stuff too.
September 14, 2017, 04:31:26 am Christian40 says: i have thought that i'm reaping from past sins then my life has been impacted in ways from having non believers in my ancestry.
September 11, 2017, 06:59:33 am Psalm 51:17 says: The law of reaping and sowing. It's amazing how God's mercy and longsuffering has hovered over America so long. (ie, the infrastructure is very bad here b/c for many years, they were grossly underspent on. 1st Tim 6:10, the god of materialism has its roots firmly in the West) And remember once upon a time ago when shacking up b/w straight couples drew shock awe?

Exodus 20:5  Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;
September 11, 2017, 03:40:40 am Christian40 says: those in america should better repent or things will only get worse
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Author Topic: The Cashless Society is Almost Here – And With Some Very Sinister Implications  (Read 3065 times)
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« on: December 02, 2012, 11:27:20 am »

The Cashless Society is Almost Here – And With Some Very Sinister Implications

Patrick Henningsen
21st Century Wire

Among the long list of items bundled by consensus reality merchants under the banner of ‘conspiracy theory’, is a world without cash – where technocrats rule over the populace, and everything and anything is exchanged via plastic and RFID chips.

In this sterile and controlled Orwellian hi-tech society, the idea of cash being passed from hand to hand would be as archaic as the thought of carrying around a rucksack of tally sticks today.

Still, despite the incredible penetration of credit and debit card transactions into economic aggregate, and the boom in internet shopping, few will comfortably admit that a cashless society is nearly upon us. In part, it’s a natural denial by many fueled by the idea of our society is indeed on a collision course with the sort of dystopic impersonal future like that depicted in the 1970′s sci-fi film classic, ‘Logan’s Run’.

Over the years, futurists and commentators alike seemed to agree that a cashless society would be a slow creep, and cash would automatically phase itself in simply by virtue of the sheer volume of electronic transactions that would gradually make paper less available and more costly to redeem and exchange. This is still true for the most part. What few counted on, however, was how the final push would take place, and why. Some will be surprised by these new emerging mechanisms, and the political and sinister implications they will ultimately lead to.

What’s the time frame on all this? Difficult to say, but what is certain is that the initial phases are already in motion…

Introduction of Parallel Currencies

There has been a lot made about the ‘cashless society’ in media, but this cannot fully happen until there is a cashless currency.

Every revolution needs a good crisis in order to germinate its seed. The cashless revolution is no different. It should be abundantly clear by now that the global financial meltdown has been engineered at every juncture of its unfolding by the very private central banks who expand and contract the money supply. A dollar or euro collapse will trigger a global economic crisis, which is a prime opportunity to introduce the next phase.

In the summer of 2012, at the height of the European Central Bank (ECB) ritualistic raping of the Greek economy, financial expert Max Keiser, alongside Mexican billionaire Hugo Salinas Price, traveled to Athens to promote the idea of a silver Drachma as a parallel currency to the ever-failing euro. In theory and in practice, this parallel currency was ‘sound money’ for individual Greeks and would allow them to retain some say in their financial destiny, and also allow them to accumulate real wealth. It should have caught on.  But this great idea did not go down well with media moguls and technocratic elites loyal to their overlords in the ECB, Wall Street and the City of London. Still, too many people remain unaware of how money is created, entered into circulation and how their private central banks control inflation, and Greece is no different.

Watch this clip from Greek television:


The US dollar is pure fiat, but it does have a theoretical backer. It is an oil-backed currency – and for better of for worse, it’s on its way to losing its long-lived status as the world’s reserve currency. There are signals that China is moving towards a gold-backed currency and has already agreed to buy the majority of its oil supply from Russia off of the US dollar peg. This could mean two things: the US could be forced to fight a war to maintain dollar supremacy, or the dollar will begin to drop as the top dog. This shift will open up a window of opportunity for money masters to insert not only a brand new global currency, but also its universal cashless attributes as well.

Common sense and free market wisdom would expect to see a sound money option replace the current fiat disaster, but as we saw in Greece, a great solution was not taken up and straddled with the dysfunctional euro, that society will continue to pay the cost of that reality.

The euro crisis was a great opportunity to throw out the euro in favour of something that could create wealth, rather than debt. As the fiat currencies continue to slide downhill, globalist are preparing their solution behind closed doors.

Enter the Cashless Currency…

It’s arguable that we approaching the cusp of that US Dollar collapse, and perhaps a Euro implosion on the back end of it. Risks of hyper inflation are very real here, but if you control the money supply might already have a ready-made solution waiting in the wings, you will not be worrying about the rift, only waiting for the chaos to ensue so as to maximise your own booty from the crisis.

Many believed that the global currency would be the SDR unit, aka Special Drawing Rights, implemented in 2001 as a supplementary foreign exchange reserve asset maintained by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). SDRs were not considered a full-fledged currency, but rather a claim to currency held by IMF member countries for which they may be exchanged for dollars, euros, yen or other central bankers’ fiat notes.

With the SDR confined to the upper tier of the international money launderette, a new product is still needed to dovetail with designs of a  global cashless society.

Two new parallel currencies are currently being used exclusively within the electronic, or cashless  domain – Bitcoin and Ven.

Among the many worries Ben Bernanke listed in his speech at the New York Economic Club last week  was the emergence of Bitcoin. But don’t believe for a second that these digital parallel currencies are not being watched over and even steered by the money masters. Couple this latest trend with done deals by most of the world’s largest mobile networks this month to allow people to pay via a mobile ‘wallet’, and you now have the initial enabler for a new global electronic currency.

These new parallel cashless currencies could very quickly end up in pole position for supremacy when the old fiat notes fade away as a result of the next planned economic dollar and euro crisis.

Both Bitcoin and Ven appear on their surface to be independent parallel digital money systems, but the reality is much different. In April 2011, Ven announced the first commodity trade priced in Ven for gold production between Europe and South America. Both of these so-called ‘digital alternatives’ are being backed and promoted through some of the world’s biggest and most long-standing corporate dynasties, including Rothschild owned Reuters as an example, which should be of interest to any activist who believes that a digitally controlled global currency is a dangerous path to tread down.

The Electronic Deutsche Mark

Much is made of Germany’s prominent financial position within the EU, with a popular talking point being that, “Germany is carrying the majority of the load in ‘bailing out’ countries such as Greece in the south”. If the Euro is ‘heading south’ as many a financial commentator are claiming, then how would a country like Germany – or even the US Federal Reserve for that matter, hedge their bets with an impending currency collapse looming just over the horizon?

Economics professor Miles Kimball from the University of Michigan thinks he knows the answer:

“In short, for a smooth transition, a reintroduced mark needs to be an electronic mark. I recently made the case for the electronic dollar in a previous Quartz column, “E-Money: How paper currency is holding the US recovery back.” The trouble with paper money is that the rate of interest people earn on holding paper money puts a floor on the interest rate they are willing to accept in doing any other lending. For the US, I proposed making the electronic dollar the “unit of account” or economic yardstick for prices and other economic values, and having the Federal Reserve control the exchange rate between electronic dollars and paper dollars to make paper dollars gradually fall in value relative to electronic dollars during periods of time when the Fed wants room to make the interest rate negative.

In the case of Germany, there would be no need to reintroduce a paper mark along with the electronic mark, since the euro itself could continue in its current role as a “medium of exchange” for making purchases in Germany, alongside the electronic mark. A “crawling peg” exchange rate could be used to let the electronic mark gradually go up in value relative to the euro, without causing a huge rush into the mark, since with no paper mark other than the euro itself, interest rates in Germany could be close to zero when measured in euros, which would make them strongly negative in terms of marks.”

A dollar or euro crash could be the perfect storm for the introduction of a major global digital currencies, and this will do nothing but fast-track our entry into the new cashless society.

Contactless Payments

This past year’s Summer Olympic was a beta testing exercise for a number of new programs. We witnessed troops deployed en mass for the first time to marshal the international sporting event and new facial recognition technology tested to monitor its attendees. One of the chief sponsors of London 2012 Olympic was VISA, used the event as a springboard to launch its new ‘contactless payment’ technology, acclimatising the international public to making routine payments via smartphones. VISA now predicts that this new method will carry 50 per cent of its transaction volume by the year 2020.

Mastercard has also rolled out its own version called Paypass, and Barclaycard has already implemented its own mobile phone payment chip in 2011. It conceivable here, that a bank like Barclays could one day takeover a major mobile service provider in order to streamline the endless profits it could accrue from monopolising cashless payment facilities for its customers. A recent edition of Marketing Week further explains how this is program is being rolled out:

“Barclays launched Pingit this year, a mobile payment service that allows customers to send and receive money with a mobile phone number, which has sparked The Payments Council to work on a similar project. And the three leading mobile operators in the UK – EE, Vodafone and O2 – are working on a joint project under the name Weve, one of the aims of which is to develop standardised technology for ‘digital wallets’ on mobile.

These industry innovations reflect the changing attitude and behaviour by consumers to cashless payments. Barry Clark, account director at Future Foundation, which identified the trend towards a cashless society in its recent report into the changing face of payments, explains that this move towards digital is a “banking nirvana” for brands, since replacing cash with electronic payments takes high costs out of the system.”

These mobile enablers will effectively cover the small services and contractor’s market for the cashless society. In addition, digital payment terminals like iZettle and Square (created by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey), have brought in most small traders, including taxi drivers, plumbers etc, and street side retailers – meaning that the barrier for entry into the new cashless society has been effectively dissolved.

The Socialist ‘Oyster’

The darker aspect of a cashless society, is one which few are debating or discussing, but is actually the most pivotal in terms of scial engineering and transforming communities and societies. In London, the electronic touch payment Oyster Card was introduced in 2003, initially for public transport, and since that time the card has been co-opted to be used for other functions, as the UK beta tests the idea of an all-in-one cashless lifestyle solution.

Ironically, and alongside biometric chipping now in India, it’s the United States, supposedly the birthplace of modern capitalism, who is beta testing its own socialist technocracy.  As the ranks of the poor and unemployed grow and dollar inflation rises in America, more and more people are dependent on traditional ‘Food Stamp’ entitlements in order to feed their families. The US has now introduced its own socialist ‘Oyster’ to replace the old Food Stamp program. It’s called the ‘EBT’, which stands for “Electronic Benefit Transfer“, as a means of transferring money from the central government to people living below the poverty line. Advocate Mike Adams for Natural News describes it another way:

“EBT benefits have more than doubled during the Obama administration’s last four years, creating tens of millions of new dependents who now vote based almost entirely on who gives them the most handouts.

The purchase of vitamins is specifically prohibited by the EBT program. This is done as a way to keep EBT recipients sick and diseased while suffering from nutritional deficiencies, which is precisely what the federal government wants.

EBT cards create high-profit handouts to corporations, too: Pharmaceutical companies and the sick-care industry; Big Government which gets re-elected based on entitlement handouts; global banks which earn a percentage off every swipe; and even the processed junk food industry which preys upon nutritional ignorance of the poor.

In fact, for every dollar’s worth of food handed out to EBT recipients under the program, at least 50 cents is driven right into the profit coffers of wealthy corporations.”

Adams has pointed out the endgame here. Where collectivist technocrats are concerned, a global digital currency is not only a means for a centrally controlled economy, but also a centrally controlled society. And as Adams also pointed out, they can even control what you eat.

There’s also the small matter of  the Verichip, or ‘class 2′ implantable medical devise, an RFID chip already set to be implemented through Obamacare. It will transmit medical records, bank accounts, keyless entry and much more. The technology could be a $100 Trillion industry over the coming decade.

Bottom line: We’ve got a big problem when the state can – and will cut-off your electronic financial lifeline should you fall foul of the system. No negotiations, no gray areas – and definitely no place for a free individual in this type of globalist system.

Social Networks Gradually Supplanting Real Communities

In 2011 Facebook launched its own virtual currency, which was taken up immediately by the games developer industry. Facebook created it’s own internal digital market overnight. If customers didn’t like it, they had two choices – jump ship, or stay in the biggest market place. That’s a lot of power to wield, and you can wield it if you have the big numbers.

A severe lack of choice in the world of online communities has unwittingly(or not) positioned Facebook to play the roles of not only data collector, but also as banker, retailer, archivist and governor.

As 2012 comes to a close, many people have certainly become, in one way or another, sans border citizens of the Facebook Nation. In the future, one corporation or cartel’s success in capturing a near global monopoly of membership to a particular online platform might give it the ability to dictate a digital  economic mandate to both producers and consumer.

The digital data industry now claims in a recent study by fast.MAP, that consumer confidence in sharing personal information has risen. But the reality is that most people do not know which data is being used and to who it is being shared or sold to. Most users are unknowingly trading “access” to networks, as well convenient speed of registration – for data privacy. We do this on a daily basis now.

It’s a question of speculation at this point how deeply the new digital currencies will be integrated into social networking giants like Facebook, or Second Life - where users are already buying virtual property with virtual currency, but few can deny that the potential for consolidation in the early 21st century is already there.

History Will Repeat Itself

Whenever the status quo is seen as a failure, the architects of society will rarely allow the whole show to come to a grinding halt, for fear that new and non-centrally controlled organic systems of organisation will emerge. The ruling establishment will spare no opportunity to tell society this, over and over, making people truly believe that it is in their best interest to adopt whatever alternative is handed down to them. This is why, when faced with a crisis, society will almost always seek to implement a parallel alternatives, rather than rethink the whole system.

In 2008, the public had an opportunity to collapse the predatory banking system that has been trading insolvent and gambling on thin air. But the very same ruling establishment who engineered the crisis to  begin with, masterfully presented their own solution as the remedy by establishing the precedent of the state bailing out any gambling losses incurred by the banking community.

In the end society relented, and with help of pro-banking political leadership on both sides of the Atlantic, they adopted the pre-packaged belief that a cluster of bloated and corrupt financial institutions were simply too big to fail. Aside from being a massive redistribution of wealth upwards into the hands of the speculative elite classes, this was merely a test by the establishment to see how far they could go in robbing the public, pushing up inflation, hoovering up real assets, robbing pension funds and enslaving taxpayers to generations of debt the bankers created – all in one swoop.

It has long been the dream of collectivists and technocratic elites to eliminate the semi-unregulated cash economy and black markets in order to maximise taxation and to fully control markets. If the cashless society is ushered in, they will have near complete control over the lives of individual people.

The financial collapse which began in 2007-2008 was merely the opening gambit of the elite criminal class, a mere warm-up for things to come. With the next collapse we may see a centrally controlled global digital currency gaining its final foothold.

The cashless society is already here. The question now is – how far will society allow it to penetrate and completely control each and every aspect of their day to day lives?

http://21stcenturywire.com/2012/11/29/the-cashless-society-is-almost-here-and-with-some-very-sinister-implications/
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« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2012, 04:03:27 pm »

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« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2013, 06:38:27 am »

A cashless society and fingerprint payments are on the horizon

The South Dakota School of Mines & Technology and Nexus USA have partnered on a biometrics programme, which may one day lead to a cashless society.

The programme makes South Dakota School of Mines & Technology the first in the world to test life as a biometrics campus using foil-proof biocryptology that goes beyond a fingerprint to read multiple layers into the skin and detect haemoglobin in the blood.

The patented technology on the back-end turns each finger scan into a series of valueless numbers that change every time the finger is introduced.

Data encryption ensures security, as the numbers can’t be reproduced in a meaningful way, not by merchants, law enforcement, hackers or even Nexus Smart Pay.

The Nexus Smart Pay pilot programme at the school of mines and technology is being tested by 50 students and four faculty members at two locations on campus.

Consumers deposit money into an account, with which they associate their biometric data. Mines students and faculty members pay for goods with a simple scan of the finger; no cash, credit, debit or ID cards or pin codes necessary.

Biocryptology, in part, reads several layers deep into the skin using radio frequency. The technology can be applied to other applications, including physical and logical access.

Super secure
It also protects against identity theft, as fewer forms of identification are needed to be carried on a person and the system operates in a highly secure, closed and uniquely encrypted environment.

“Advancing technology to transform lives is what we do at the School of Mines, and we are proud to be not only the first university but indeed the first organisation of any kind in the world to pilot this programme,” said the school's acting president Duane Hrncir.

“We are excited about being on the front-end of this technology. It’s a natural fit for us to partner with Nexus USA and Hanscan.” Nexus USA is a subsidiary of Spanish-based Hanscan Identity Management, which is owned by entrepreneur and oil tycoon Klaas Zwart, also a Formula 1 enthusiast who has built his own racing resort in Marbella, Spain.

Zwart visited South Dakota School of Mines & Technology's campus in September, spending time with the school's own Formula Hardrocker Racing SAE team.

Some of the school's students are participating in the biometric pilot programme.

“Nexus needed a place that was going to be technologically advanced enough to handle this and with a student population savvy enough.

We hope they will give us some feedback on how to make this a better product and to find a better way to help market it. This is an innovative university, and we really need to show the world,” said Al Maas, Nexus USA’s president.

“The convenience factor is huge. It’s safe, and I believe it’s going to accelerate fast. We’re in tune with the technology age. Look at how the fax went to email and then to our cellphones.

Within three years we’ve gone from making calls to taking care of everything we need in our lives,” Maas said. – Gadget.co.za

http://mg.co.za/article/2013-01-23-ill-pay-by-fingerprint
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« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2013, 03:49:34 pm »

Yet another of their test beds.
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« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2013, 03:55:26 pm »

Yet another of their test beds.

Don't forget about the microchip in Obamacare set to take effect in 2 months.

No, it is NOT a mandantory requirement to take it(as we discussed here last year), but those who are insured under Obamacare and end up getting treatment for CERTAIN illnesses will need one of these implants as it will keep up with their personal medical data.

This is another form of control b/c their personal medical information will get intruded into. And no, this is NOT some form of the mark of the beast, FYI.
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« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2013, 04:18:17 am »

Bieber Picked To Sell Kids On Benefits Of Cashless Society

This month, Justin Bieber begins marketing a prepaid card designed to promote responsible teen spending to his millions of fans. He’ll take to social media to spread his message about the SpendSmart MasterCard from a company called BillMyParents, Inc. “There’s probably no single individual out there that can send this message, that can turn a brighter spotlight on this message, then Justin Bieber,” said Mike McCoy, chief executive officer of BillMyParents, Inc. Bieber, who turned 19 Friday, began his career as a YouTube sensation. Now he has more than 51 million Facebook friends and 30 million Twitter followers, making him a perfect and powerful front man for new world order elitists.

http://www.nbcdfw.com/investigations/Bieber-Endorsed-Prepaid-Card-Aims-to-Teach-Kids-About-Responsible-Spending-194361071.html
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« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2013, 06:07:31 pm »

http://www.marketoracle.co.uk/Article39790.html
Apr 04, 2013
Is Bitcoin New World Order Plot For A World Currency?

Justin O’Connell writes: As a general rule, if anything is covered en masse by the mainstream media, then I tend to believe that which I am watching is actually one long promotional spot.

The same could potentially be said for Bitcoin as over the past months its popularity has grown so much that “anarcho-capitalist...Libertarian...Freedom Fighter against mankind’s two biggest enemies, the State and Central Banks,” Dollar Vigilante Chief Editor, Jeff Berwick, has been on CNBC, CNN, Fox News, and BBC, and other mainstream outlets.

What brought on this sudden attention? No, not our anarcho-capitalism, but our announcement of the world’s first BitcoinATM.

So, is Jeff just a patsy so that the New World Order can bring in a digital currency? I began wondering this myself, and I came to what I think is a reasonable conclusion.

What many skeptics fail to understand is that the so-called New World Order – with its global governance, fiat currencies and so on – has already, for the most part, been implemented on a global scale. Especially economically. For instance, 95%+ of fiat money today is digital, and it's all based on the Federal Reserve System, thus creating one worldwide currency with lots of different designs on the actual notes supposedly representing the various cultural backgrounds of nation-states.

Despite nearly everything being digital already, there are mainstream technologies that go above-and-beyond, aiming to rule out the need for cash.

One particular app for this cashless society, above-and-beyond credit and debit, is called Square, and was developed by Jack Dorsey, Twitter’s co-founder. According to CNN, “this is a telltale signs that the mobile-payments revolution has arrived.” CNN writes, as anyone who has studied American consumers know, “changing the way Americans pay for stuff is going to be really hard work
.”

But Bitcoin is turning out to be a force to be reckoned with. For instance, in comparison to long-time friends of the liberty movement, gold and silver, Bitcoin seems to have been the play to make over the past six months and beyond. For months, besides today's drop from $150-$115, after running to $150 from $105, our charts over at Gold Silver Bitcoin have shown a bimetallic standard precipitously dropping relative to Bitcoin.

The CNN article surmises that,

“Paying by phone will be as transformative as the advent of the credit card in the 1950s. It will change the way we shop and bank. With powerful smartphones and tablets taking center stage on both sides of the checkout counter, it will reshape the relationship between buyer and seller. Not only will the phone or the tablet become a wallet for consumers, but it will also turn into a credit card reader and a register for merchants. Shoppers will use their mobile device as a coupon book, a comparison-shopping tool, and a repository of those unwieldy loyalty cards they carry from everyone from giant retail chains to the corner bakery. And your smartphones will serve as beacons that will alert a retailer when you walk into its store so that it can recommend products, show you reviews, or direct you to aisle five, where that beanbag chair you didn’t buy last week still beckons — and you can now have it for 10% off. You won’t even need a few singles to tip the valet or pay the dog walker, because they’ll take mobile payments too.”

This basically explains the Bitcoin experience. One big difference? While CNN assumes a central authority, Bitcoin does not. With big players like AT&T, Verizon, Visa, Mastercard, Google, Microsoft, and eBay’s PayPal unit investing in billions in digital payment solutions,  it is no surprise that the mainstream media is serving the idea to the public domain in kind and uncritical ways. One of their assumptions is a monopoly on the technology by some corporation friendly to compromising. While the mainstream press has been unable to ignore Bitcoin, it certainly has been critical of Bitcoin being prone to hackers. Sure, a great many people have lost bitcoins. But, imagine if the general population had to become their own banks. Most of them would get eaten right away by sharks in the economic waters.

The CNN article champions the ease of digital transactions, and the time saved. Bitcoin is surely faster:

“While this revolution will be powered by complex technology, its ultimate effect will be to greatly simplify things for consumers. Think about my experience at Grumpy. While I had to fiddle with my phone ahead of time — to upload my credit card to the Square app and to authorize it to talk to the Grumpy register — once there, the phone never left my pocket. All I had to do was order my cappuccino.”

The article portends that “a cashless future is more real than many suspect.” According to the global head of mobile at Visa, “financial institutions are going to have a big role to play.”

 “We are, I think, on a precipice of some fundamental change in the way money is exchanged between consumers and businesses,” Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., said as she opened the first of a string of hearings one year ago on cashless ways.

The Federal Reserve found that 12 percent of cell phone users had already made a payment through their phones, and almost two-thirds of technology experts surveyed by the Pew Center on Internet and American Life said they expected mobile payments to eclipse cash and credit cards by 2020.

But, Square and similar technologies are different from Bitcoin. Bitcoin has caught on with a younger generation that, as Trace Mayer once put it to me (to paraphrase), “grew up in a digital sea. [The younger generation] are fish in a digital sea, whereas the older generation are snorkeling tourists.” In other words, p2p technology is a concept in-and-of itself for the Internet-literate. That goes a long way to explaining its popularity.

As the late Bob Chapman of the International Forecaster asked about gold and silver relative to fiat, “where else are you going to go” in a time of ubiquitous deceit? Bitcoin offers yet another alternative to what I’ve coined a “rebel’s portfolio” already heavy in silver and gold.

The pseudonymous nature (read: not totally anonymous) of Bitcoin does associate IPs with wallets. But, the paper-trail is a more obtuse alternative to the traditional bank account. The Powers That Be focus intensely on record-keeping, the historical record shows this, and so any added time-cost for their zeroing-in on you acts as the new privacy.

The popular appeal of Bitcoin – its p2p foundation – is as simple as first-language to the younger generation. Trace explains this well. Max Keiser recently said that he called gold in 2008, and people asked “What if the government confiscates my gold?” To which Max Keiser responds, “What you should have been asking yourself is, 'What if the government confiscates my bank account?'” He then goes on: “Since $5 per BTC I’ve been recommending Bitcoin and many of you asked, ‘What if the government shuts off the Internet?’” Max Keiser answers thus: “What you should have been asking yourselves is, ‘What if the government shuts down the banks?”

And so, there are fundamental differences between the digital payment technologies pursued publicly by TPTB, and Bitcoin. This is what caught the eye of so many tech-savvy and Austrian-minded individuals across the world, but largely concentrated in the US and greater North America. Now, with Bitcoin skyrocketing from $9.31 last Fall to $150 today, the power of the Internet has never been clearer.

Bitcoin is a bet on the Internet. And, if you read our recent TDV Homegrown issue, you might have learned something about the Egyptian experience with a government using the "internet kill switch." I wrote:

“Over one year ago, the Egyptian government cut off approximately 88% of the country’s internet access. Here is what happened: The government owned the biggest Internet provider in the nation, and only had to contact a few other companies to make this happen. The government ordered the shutdown of nearly all Internet access within Egypt. Ninety-three percent of Egypt’s networks went down. One of the only connections to the Internet that was not blocked belongs to Noor Data Network, the ISP used by the Egyptian (stock) Exchange.”

I then went over some of the ways Egyptians worked around this Internet shutdown, as well as the likelihood of it happening in the US. The conclusion of the article was bullish for the Internet, for the Internet is a vibrant and evolving system. It is crucial to everyone's way of life, and we see this with centralized and decentralized payment solutions. The Internet will continue to be defended by its users and impinged upon by its self-appointed overseers. It's a battle in which any Dollar Vigilante would delightfully indulge
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« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2013, 07:20:32 am »

Thoughts on the New Cashless Society

To say that living without cash has been the stuff of legend would be an exaggeration … but only a slight one. And the reality may come sooner than we think.

For literally hundreds of years, the thought of a society without cash, or money at all, has been on the minds of utopian philosophers, financial activists, anarchists and other groups, usually upset at the limitations and abuses of a representative money system. During most of this time, “cashless” — often literally “moneyless” — was a hallowed vision in the minds of some but, being virtually impossible to implement in a society beyond the near-tribal agrarian state, it was pretty much all talk.

Well, it’s back, this time driven by the intersection of consumer, banking, commerce and mobile automation forces that together may make its realization more likely than ever and of major importance to our burgeoning mobile automation world.

rest: http://www.cmswire.com/cms/customer-experience/thoughts-on-the-new-cashless-society-020889.php
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« Reply #8 on: November 28, 2013, 01:39:02 pm »

Video: Bitcoin virtual currency booms
http://news.yahoo.com/video/bitcoin-virtual-currency-booms-152532534.html
11/28/13

Bitcoin has broken a new record with the price for the digital currency topping $1,000 for the first time - compared to $13 around a year ago. Its value jumped after US senators described it as a valid means of exchange, but with an uncertain legal status and worries over its security and volatility, it faces an unsteady future. Hayley Platt reports.
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« Reply #9 on: December 17, 2013, 05:43:00 am »

Cashless society: A huge threat to our freedom

Econgularity, shorthand for economic singularity, is an ugly word I created to describe an unfortunate approaching moment in time when our current technological snooping prowess, the ease of big data manipulation and our sprint to a cashless economy will converge. This will happen in such a way as to permit governments to exercise incredibly powerful control over all human behavior.

While this may sound like a paranoid doomsday scenario to some, as a real world finance professional, I believe that this scenario is not only eminently possible, but most of the technology is already available — albeit not yet fully marshaled — to frighteningly make it reality.

Technological advances have led to the creation of algorithms that can instantaneously review financial transactions, determining the nature, location and even the appropriateness of a purchase decision. These have been freely used by credit- and debit-card companies.

Cardholders already encounter this technology when they receive fraud alerts after a transaction that looks out of kilter with the particular consumer's normal purchasing patterns. The technologies can thus serve to protect consumers. That said, they have already been used to control consumer behavior. In 2010, Visa and MasterCard, bowed to government pressure — not even federal or state law — and banned all online-betting payments from their systems. This made it virtually impossible for these gambling sites to continue operating regardless of their jurisdiction or legality. It is not too far-fetched to wonder if the day might come when the health records of an overweight individual would lead to a situation in which they find that any sugary drink purchase they make through a credit or debit card is declined. Sounds far-fetched but maybe not so.

You might think then that the person can always pay cash and remain outside the purview of these technologies. This may be the case for the moment, but we are well on the road to becoming a cashless society. According to a MasterCard study, 80 percent of U.S. consumer transactions are electronic. In Sweden, one observer estimates that only 3 percent of transactions are made with currency. In fact, the decline in cash use has become so pronounced in Sweden that homeless beggars have been given card readers by Situation Stockholm to sell freely distributed newspapers and to receive alms, since potential donors no longer carry cash. Governments and central banks are also subtle supporters of a cashless society as there are indeed costs to producing currency and coins. Monetary policy could also be much more efficiently executed without currency circulating, since it would then be easy to implement negative interest-rate policies. But there is also a sinister risk to a cashless society.

This point comes when a society goes cashless and the potential for econgularity is at its highest. A singularity is defined as the point in which technological advancement will "radically change human civilization and perhaps even human nature itself." It is impossible to know if this will actually happen, but a cashless society would certainly give governments unprecedented access to information and power over citizens. Currently, we have little evidence to indicate that governments will refrain from using this power. On the contrary, the U.S. government is already using its snooping prowess and big-data manipulation in some frightening ways.

The technological command of the National Security Agency has been widely reported on and does not need repeating here. Suffice it to note, that it would be no challenge for the NSA or certain other government agencies to monitor any company or consumer transaction in real time, if it so desired.

To provide another example, the U.S. government is becoming very fond of seizing money from citizens first and asking questions later via "civil forfeiture." Amazingly, the government is permitted by law to do this even if it is only government staff members who have a suspicion, not proof, of wrongdoing. By seizing a citizen's or a firm's money, the victim/defendant has almost no choice but to settle. A case about civil forfeiture was recently argued in front of the Supreme Court in which the government seized all the money of a tiny family-owned grocery store on the suspicion that it was laundering cash because its cash deposits were below the $10,000 level, an occurrence that triggers a report to the government. By depriving companies and individuals of the cash to defend themselves, even innocent firms are under immense pressure to settle or to plead guilty. To make matters worse, the dramatic consolidation of the banking system has made it easier for the government to acquire information as there are fewer access points. For example, JPMorgan, one of America's largest and most powerful banks, is the size of more than 3,000 smaller banks combined, and the top four U.S. banks control about 60 percent of the U.S. banking deposits.
 
The U.S. government has also been using less dramatic means to limit the freedom of its citizens. In recent years, it made it increasingly difficult for companies to operate or individuals to transact by adding compliance hurdles for banks wishing to deal with certain categories of clients. By making it too expensive to deal with certain clients or sending the signal that a bank should not deal with a particular client or type of client, the government can almost assuredly keep that company or person out of the banking system. Banks are so critically dependent on government regulatory approval for their actions that observers like Warren Buffett, among many others, have recognized the government's immense power over banks. Recently, even JPMorgan, announced that it would be ending relationships with whole categories of clients that pose compliance challenges.

If current government trends continue, a cashless economy could thus very well lead to an econgularity. Imagine a future in which soon, a government staff member could suspect an individual of some misconduct, or perhaps deem that person's politics or speech unacceptable. It would take just a few keystrokes to order all financial institutions to decline any withdrawal or payment from that individual and to transfer any deposits or payments of that person to the government, or at least freeze any access to funds. Perhaps this would need to be reviewed by a secret court that would approve 99.7 percent of all requests, but would provide a veneer of due process. It is fair to think that the targeted individual might starve to death. This could be insured by cutting off access to the payment system of anyone suspected of helping the targeted individual.

While bitcoin, a private synthetic cyber currency, might seem like an antidote to this scenario, it, too, requires connectivity, which can be subject to monitoring. Further, the exchange of bitcoin to the currency of the country in question can be regulated in ways that could limit or even end its utility. Testimony by regulators to the U.S. Senate on Nov. 18th that the government can deal with bitcoin via the existing currency transaction surveillance laws and surveillance methods in place is a pretty good indication that U.S. agencies could also envelop bitcoin via meta-data and behavioral analysis.
 
It is by no means certain that such a dystopian outcome will occur in a cashless society. It could be that certain countries such as Sweden can make the leap without any adverse consequences. But my fear is that some governments will find it irresistible to take much greater control of the everyday behaviors of their citizens simply because they can.

There are certainly positive outcomes that can be obtained by going cashless. For example, banning sale transactions of cigarettes or sugary drinks or stopping cardholders from overeating, gambling, or whatever other vice is targeted, could lead to a decrease in these vices and their associated problems. A decrease in those problems could positively impact other areas, like, for example, our nation's health-care system. A cashless society would probably also mean less street crime. Yet in return for these benefits, there is an incalculable cost to our humanity. We would lose our freedom to make decisions. It is easy to imagine a totalitarian regime using these tools to great harm. Given current U.S. government policies, it is also very easy to imagine even a liberal government such as our own, being sorely tempted to use the confluence of these technologies. And once used, because they are so very, very powerful, even liberal governments will be enticed into using them until there is pretty complete monitoring and control of every transaction.

So now is the time to urge Congress to repeal civil forfeiture and to forbid government agencies from intruding on the financial payments of U.S. citizens or companies without due process unless it is a matter of national security or imminent harm. We can also hope that the Supreme Court will find civil forfeiture to be unconstitutional as it should be viewed. By putting such strictures in place today we can change the trajectory of our current path. On a day-to- day basis, we should also decrease out debit- or credit-card use to preserve the market share of currency in our economy and stop the demise of cash. There are lots of other benefits to this as spending real cash out of our pockets makes us consider our expenditures more carefully and increases our savings rate.

Philosopher and economist Adam Smith observed that we are all economic beings in the sense that our essence as humans stems from our ability to make fair trades for our labor or our products. We make these transactions in the presence of the usually benevolent "invisible hand," as Smith called it in his book "An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations." The invisible hand optimizes our total production, and, by and large, fosters our freedom. A "visible hand" monitoring every single transaction we make could be one of the greatest — and least expected — threats to freedom we have ever encountered in human history. This is the threat of econgularity.

http://www.cnbc.com/id/101266173
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« Reply #10 on: December 19, 2013, 10:02:51 am »

Nigeria's Futuristic National ID Cards Are Also Debit Cards
May 2013


The latest in financial innovation is coming from Nigeria--and it blessedly doesn't involve elaborate Internet scams. Nigeria's government, instead, is teaming up with MasterCard to run a pilot program which would turn the country's national ID cards into debit cards.

MasterCard and the Nigerian National Identity Management Commission made the government debit card announcement at the World Economic Forum on Africa on Wednesday. 13 million combination government ID cards/debit cards will be rolled out over the next year; Nigeria has a population of approximately 167 million. The ID cards, which contain demographic and biometric data belonging to each Nigerian citizen encoded on a microchip, will be linked to bank accounts. When the cards are used at stores or kiosks, cashiers will be able to verify the buyer's identity using both the regular photo identification and the biometric chip-encoded information.

For Nigeria, which is undergoing an economic boom fueled by new businesses and mobile phones, the worry is that ethnic violence and omnipresent corruption could slow down growth. Due to the tracking capabilities, security, and built-in paper trail of cashless currency, the Nigerian government feels debit card payments could be a solution. After the initial 13 million cards are given to pilot testers, the government hopes to deploy 120 million ID cards/debit cards once the scheme proves workable.

“The initial rollout in Nigeria of 13 million MasterCard-branded National Identity Smart Cards with electronic payment capability--followed by a nation-wide rollout of potentially 120 million cards to all adult citizens--will allow cardholders to deposit funds on the card, receive social benefits, pay for goods and services, withdraw cash from all ATMs that accept MasterCard, and engage in many other financial transactions that are facilitated by electronic payments,” MasterCard's Michael Miebach told Fast Company via email. “In addition to the various functionalities of a Smart ID, the scheme will allow Nigerians, 70% of whom currently having no back account, to participate in the global economy.”

Nigeria's Access Bank has signed on to initially issue the cards, with Unified Payments serving as the payment processor. Other banks have agreed to issue the ID cards/debit cards as well. Beyond making things easier for the government, they also have the potential to cause a banking boom in Nigeria by connecting the unbanked with bank accounts. Of note is the fact that, because the Nigerian cards use chip-and-pin technology, they are more sophisticated than American debit or credit cards.

While combination identification cards and debit cards might seem like a privacy advocate's nightmare, some experts feel they have amazing potential. David Wolman, author of The End of Money, told Fast Company that “The reality is that combating poverty means finding ways to get people access to basic financial services and that can't really happen without money in electronic form. It's not a panacea, obviously, and no one can predict if this particular program will succeed or flop. But that doesn't change the fact that services of this sort are desperately needed.”

According to World Bank statistics, Nigeria has a massive 7.3% GDP growth rate but 62.6% of the population lives below the poverty line.
http://www.fastcompany.com/3009549/nigerias-futuristic-national-id-cards-are-also-debit-cards
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« Reply #11 on: December 19, 2013, 10:07:13 am »

Quote
According to World Bank statistics, Nigeria has a massive 7.3% GDP growth rate but 62.6% of the population lives below the poverty line.

So it looks like the middle class is ALMOST NON-EXISTENT in Nigeria(at least from what figures they've released made it look like). A booming GDP but the majority live below the poverty line?

Rev 13:16  And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:
Rev 13:17  And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.


When this prophesy comes to pass midway through the 7 year time of Jacob's trouble - notice they say rich and poor...hhhmmm...doesn't say anything about the middle class/in between people, does it?
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« Reply #12 on: January 21, 2014, 09:20:16 pm »

http://www.nbcnews.com/technology/2-vegas-hotels-accept-bitcoins-gambling-still-requires-hard-cash-2D11968195?ocid=msnhp&pos=6
2 Vegas hotels to accept bitcoins -- but gambling still requires hard cash
1/21/14

Las Vegas is getting one more novelty. Starting this week, patrons will be able to use the online currency bitcoin to pay for rooms, food and drinks at two downtown casinos.

The D casino and the city's oldest casino, the Golden Gate, will accept bitcoins at hotel front desks beginning Wednesday. The cybercurrency will also be accepted at the D's gift shop and two restaurants. U.S. dollars will remain the only currency accepted on the gambling floor.

Derek Stevens, the co-owner of the two casinos, said he's been intrigued by bitcoin for years and had talked with patrons who wondered if the casinos would use it.

He said it's tough to forecast how many patrons will pay for dinners and souvenirs with bitcoins, but predicted other casinos will soon adopt the currency.

"For us, it's going to be somewhat exciting to see what kind of impact it'll have," he said.

Not at the blackjack table, though

State regulators are unlikely to allow casinos to exchange chips for bitcoins any time soon, according to A.G. Burnett, chairman of the Nevada Gaming Control Board.

The industry has not approached regulators about approving the currency for gambling.

"We would have to have an extremely high level of comfort with virtual currency of this kind in order for that to ever occur," Burnett said.

Bitcoin made its debut four years ago, and has been gaining momentum ever since, shedding its status as an internet oddity and approaching the mainstream.

Earlier this month, the Salt Lake City-based retailer Overstock.com became the first major retailer to accept the digital currency as payment for goods.

Unlike government-issued money, the value of bitcoin fluctuates rapidly. Like Overstock.com, the two casinos will use a bitcoin broker that immediately exchanges the digital coins into dollars.

Advocates describe bitcoin as the foundation of a Utopian economy: no borders, no change fees, no closing hours, and no one to tell you what you can and can't do with your money.
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« Reply #13 on: January 27, 2014, 01:35:45 pm »

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/two-bitcoin-exchange-operators-charged-money-laundering-scheme-162424352--finance.html
Two bitcoin exchange operators charged in money laundering scheme
1/27/14

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Two men who operate bitcoin exchange businesses have been charged with money laundering for helping drug merchants exchange $1 million in cash for bitcoins, the digital currency, U.S. prosecutors said on Monday.

Federal prosecutors in New York announced charges against Charlie Shrem and Robert Faiella, both operators of bitcoin exchange businesses, for attempting to sell $1 million in the digital currency to users of the underground black market website Silk Road, which was shut down by authorities in September.

According to the charging document, Shrem, 24, chief executive officer of the exchange BitInstant.com, changed cash into bitcoins for Faiella, 52, who ran an underground bitcoin exchange through the username BTCKing on Silk Road's website. The criminal complaint says that Shrem, in addition to knowing that Faiella's business was funneling money into Silk Road, also used Silk Road himself to buy drugs.

The U.S. Attorney's office in Manhattan said in a statement that authorities arrested Shrem on Sunday at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport. Faiella was arrested on Monday at his home in Cape Coral, Florida.

The tech investors Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss invested $1.5 million in BitInstant last year. A spokeswoman for their firm, Winklevoss Capital, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The case against Shrem is likely to deal a blow to the burgeoning community of bitcoin businesses because Shrem is a high-profile advocate for the technology. In addition to running BitInstant, he is vice president of the main bitcoin-focused trade group, the Bitcoin Foundation, according to the foundation's website and Shrem's LinkedIn profile.

A spokeswoman for the foundation declined to immediately comment on Shrem's arrest.

Shrem and Faiella were charged with conspiring to commit money laundering and operating an unlicensed money transmitting business. A spokeswoman for Preet Bharara, the U.S. attorney for Manhattan, said there was no information about legal representation available for either of the two men, who are expected to appear in court in New York and Florida. respectively.

Shrem has a home address in the Brooklyn borough of New York.

According to the charges, Faiella, going by "BTCKing" online, sold bitcoins to Silk Road users and passed on purchase orders he received from the site to Shrem, who filled them, transferring funds to Faiella's account at another bitcoin exchange service based in Japan.

The Japan-based exchange business is not named. One of the largest bitcoin exchanges in the world, MtGox, is based in Japan.

The charging document says that Shrem, who also ran BitInstant's compliance program for a little under two years, failed to report suspicious activity to regulators "with respect to numerous Bitcoin purchases" Faiella made from BitInstant.

Shrem's lawyer, Keith Miller at Perkins Coie in New York, was not immediately available for comment

Bitcoin is a digital currency whose value fluctuates according to demand by users. It is currently trading on MtGox at a level of $985 per unit. Users can transfer bitcoins to each other over the internet and store the currency in digital "wallets."
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« Reply #14 on: May 13, 2014, 11:57:23 am »

One in 10 Americans don’t carry paper money anymore

It could be a portent of the long-foretold cashless society, or just a sign of consumer confidence, but nearly one in 10 Americans no longer carry cash on a daily basis, according to a new report from Bankrate.com.

The survey, conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International, also found that 78 percent of Americans carried less than $50 in paper money, and that 49 percent carry $20 or less each day. Nine percent went without cash entirely, the survey found.

 "If we move to a truly cashless society, it won't be much of an adjustment for most Americans," Greg McBride, Bankrate.com's chief financial analyst, said in a press release. "The vast majority of Americans carry $50 or less on a daily basis, which seems to indicate that it's more out of necessity than a desire to pay with cash."

The survey also found that cash-carrying correlated to some degree with gender: Eighty-six percent of women reported carrying less than $50, compared to 70 percent of men.

http://www.cnbc.com/id/101664403
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« Reply #15 on: October 17, 2014, 08:00:14 am »

Sweden Heading Toward Cash-Free Society

Sweden is on its way to becoming a cashless society, according to The Local.

The Swedish news organization reports that a new study says four of five purchases in Sweden are paid for electronically or with a debit card.

"Sweden and the rest of Scandinavia leads the world in terms of cashless trading," Bengt Nilervall said at the Swedish Federation of Trade (Svensk Handel).
 
They calculate there's an average of 260 card transactions per Swede per year.
 
The report says that as technology gets cheaper the trend is toward a completely cash-free society.


http://www.cbn.com/cbnnews/finance/2014/October/Sweden-Heading-Toward-Cash-Free-Society/
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« Reply #16 on: October 19, 2014, 10:01:47 am »

Cash Is King No More As Mobile Payments Soar

Debit and credit transactions are taking the place of cash around the world — faster in developing countries than in North America and Europe, according to a recent report by Cap Gemini and RBS, the UK bank. Total non-cash transactions will reach 365.5 billion in 2013, growing at more than 20 percent in developing markets but only 5.6 percent in mature markets.

In some cases, developing countries will be able to leapfrog mature markets by moving directly to newer, more flexible technologies in payments, similar to their rapid adoption of wireless without the burden of wire legacy systems.

“Developing markets are establishing initiatives and upgrading infrastructure in order to boost non-cash volumes,” the report found. Mobile phones are making a huge impact and that will only increase as inexpensive smartphones proliferate.

“M-payments are expected to grow by 60.8 percent annually through to 2015. E-payments will decelerate to 15.9 percent growth during the same period. There is a gradual convergence of e- and m-payments as the distinction between the two diminishes.”

Although the report doesn’t hesitate to takes its measurements and projections to a single decimal point — that always suggests such precision? — the consultancy and the bank admitted being unsure of how to measure hidden payments.

“Unreported payment niches are being formed as payments move away from the highly regulated banking sphere. Although non-banks continue to pursue digital innovations and capture more of the payments market, we are yet to witness any concrete action on improving and reporting of data for the hidden market.”

The future of cards should be interesting as the study found that direct debit continues to grow, although cards still contributed most of the growth in non-cash transactions at 12.3 percent in 2012.

Debit cards have proven to be highly popular, especially among young people. Companies like Moven and Simple offer a combination of a debit card and a mobile phone app to help people track and control their spending. They have suggested a generational change and a wariness of credit. The World Payments report suggests another contributing factor — banks “reduced their focus on the credit card business to avoid an increase in bad debts” after the 2008 financial crisis.

Direct debit could be a sign of economic recovery.

“Growth in  direct debit in mature markets can be attributed to an improved economy and easing of credit flows compared to 2008.  In this improved environment, it is possible that consumers are less cautious about  the timing of their payments and are willing to pay  periodic monthly bills directly from their accounts.”

Checks have almost disappeared in many markets, making up just 4.8 percent on non-cash transactions in Europe in 2012. The U.S. remains a checking account powerhouse, a somewhat dubious distinction, accounting for 65.1 percent of global check transactions.

The report producers note that while the non-cash picture does not show substantial shifts, big changes may be on the way in developing markets because some countries are upgrading their infrastructure to boost the use of non-cash transactions. In the U.S., the Fed is expected to release a recommendation later this year on moving to a real-time payment infrastructure. Consultants count more than 20 countries that already have real-time payment systems, including Japan which has had one for 40 years and Mexico which recently developed its own.

Meanwhile nonbanks will increase the number of transactions they handle from 1.1 billion in 2012 to 7 billion in 2015, but banks will maintain the lion’s share reaching 39.9 billion in 2015.

“The mobile payments space is increasingly competitive with banks and non-banks striving for insightful data, market dominance and consumer loyalty.” In mobile, non-banks are expected to grow faster than banks. PayPal processed more than $27 billion in mobile payments in 2013, around 15 percent of total payment volumes, it said.

The data on the Walmart and American Express Bluebird prepaid card wasn’t any fresher than the Amex presentation at Money2020 last year, but the growth in the Starbucks card was impressive — 10 million customers making nearly 5 million transactions per week, totaling 250 million transaction in 2013, double the previous year. Talk about the value of a good brand!

Turning to the U.S., the report found significant innovation, such as Square, that could push change even if individual companies fail.

”While many of these fledgling companies could fail, they nonetheless open the way for others to play a bigger role in the payments. This is causing the overall payments industry to fragment.”

Earlier this week I reported on McKinsey’s view of the payment industry. Philip Bruno, a senior partner in McKinsey’s Global Payments Practice, noted that some of the players in payments now — such as Google and Apple — are huge companies with ample financial resources and will create a different of competitive threat than the payment startups from the days of Internet 1.0.

Cap Gemini ’s report said that despite areas of innovation “the U.S. market generally lags the rest of the world in certain other payments trends. Checks are still in high use, there is no real-time payment clearing and settlement system, and adoption of EMV technology has been slow.”

http://www.forbes.com/sites/tomgroenfeldt/2014/10/18/cash-is-king-no-more-as-mobile-payments-soar/
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« Reply #17 on: December 13, 2014, 09:00:10 am »

Why more American families are going cashless

The Sutton Family has gone from cash to plastic. They're just one of a growing number of families using less cash for everyday spending.

According to mom Julia Sutton, "We don't deal with a lot of cash. Even their lunches are now automated through credit cards, so they're very used to this and not used to cash."

Buying lunch, shoes, even an iPad, the Sutton children make purchases on their own from a weekly allowance they get on a card instead of cash. Their parents use a mobile app or go online to transfer money into each child's account. Then Bridget, Hannah and Samantha Sutton use their "allowance card" to spend their allotment.

Research shows that using cash isn't all that cheap. The cost of using cash to consumers, business and governments is about $200 billion a year in everything from ATM fees to theft to lost tax revenue. For the average American family, that's more than $1,700 a year, according to Tufts University.

Allowance Manager founder Dan Meader said using plastic and tracking spending not only saves families money, it helps children learn how to make transactions in an increasingly cashless society.

http://www.cnbc.com/id/102260717

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« Reply #18 on: January 09, 2015, 06:50:21 pm »

http://www.nowtheendbegins.com/blog/?p=29776
SWEDISH ‘IMPLANT PARTY’ SEEKS TO PLACE RFID MICROCHIPS IN 10,000 PEOPLE
NTEB News Desk | January 8, 2015 | 18 Comments

“Curiosity is one of the biggest drivers for us humans. I come from a maker hacker culture and I just want to see what I can do with this.”

“And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.” Revelation 13:16,17

The bible clearly teaches that, after the Rapture, a time of great Tribulation will come upon the whole world. There will rise the Antichrist, who will force everyone to receive his mark, the mark of the beast. What is happening now in Sweden in is not that mark, but mental conditioning to receive the mark when it comes.

By day there were tech entrepreneurs, students, web designers and IT consultants – but that night they were going to be transformed into cyborgs. It may sound like the beginning of a science-fiction novel, but in fact it is a recollection of real events, by bio-hacker Hannes Sjoblad.

He organised the so-called implant party, which took place in late November and was one of several he has arranged. At it, eight volunteers were implanted with a small RFID (radio frequency identification) chip under the skin in their hand. Mr Sjoblad also has one.

He is starting small, aiming to get 100 volunteers signed up in the coming few months, with 50 people already implanted. But his vision is much bigger.
Quote
“Then will be a 1,000, then 10,000. I am convinced that this technology is here to stay and we will think it nothing strange to have an implant in their hand.”

“Some people are horrified by this. They see it as completely crazy and have a deep unease about where technology is taking us and we have to be sensitive to people’s feelings. source
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« Reply #19 on: January 12, 2015, 03:14:01 pm »

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/business/12-Jan-2015/nordic-countries-point-the-way-to-cashless-societies
1/12/15
Nordic countries point the way to cashless societies

STOCKHOLM/OSLO: Nordic countries are leading a shift by rich nations towards cashless societies, providing a test case for whether the lower cost and convenience of using cards and smartphones for payments outweigh the risks of fraud and some people being left behind.

Helped by wide use of computers even among the elderly, broad trust in the state and big business and only small black economies, people in Sweden and neighbouring countries are fast embracing cards, the Internet and apps for financial transactions, and forsaking notes and coins.

“We are headed more and more for a cashless society,” said Jan Digranes, a director at Finance Norway, which represents banks and other financial institutions.

Sweden, home of music streaming firm Spotify and the Candy Crush mobile phone game, ranks top in the European Union for card payments, with 230 transactions per inhabitant in 2012, just above Denmark and Finland and well ahead of Britain on 167, Germany 39 and Italy 28, according to the European Central Bank.

Non-EU members Norway and Iceland are also among top users of cards worldwide, their central banks say.

For banks and businesses, the big benefit is lower costs.

A report by the Norwegian central bank last month said the total cost of each cash transaction — including handling notes and coins in banks — was estimated at 7.1 crowns ($0.92) against only 4.1 crowns per card transaction.

For consumers, abandoning cash is often about convenience, though some are worried the poor, elderly and disabled can lack access to technology and credit, or just prefer notes and coins.

Swedes often make the smallest purchases, such as for chewing gum, with a credit card and can use the Swedish banks’ jointly-developed smartphone app Swish to repay a small debt to a friend. Another app allow drinkers to buy beers in a bar without queuing.

In the Stockholm subway, it is impossible to buy a ticket with cash, while some unemployed people selling street magazines now also accept electronic payments.

Mike Shabwan, selling flowers on a Stockholm square, said sales had risen by 10 percent since he started use the Swedish service iZettle in his smartphone to accept card payments. “And it is also cheaper and easier for me because the money comes directly into the bank,” he said.

In Denmark, “MobilePay” — an app launched by Danske Bank to allow payments via a smartphone — was judged by public radio as the best new word of the year for 2014. It now has 1.8 million users in a nation of 5.6 million people.

But Jarl Dahlfors, chief executive of cash handling firm Loomis, says the cashless trend may have gone too far for “unbanked people” such as many elderly.

And “do we really want everything we buy to be registered?” he asked, touching on the loss of privacy involved in switching from cash purchases to card and online payments.


Then there are the risks of electronic fraud.

According to Swedish Justice Ministry data, electronic fraud has doubled in the country in the past decade to about 140,000 cases in 2013. The boom is partly because a successful Internet-based computer scam can quickly generate thousands of cases.

To limit risks with MobilePay, Danske Bank advises clients to keep their phones locked when not in use and guard them as they would a credit card or cash.

In Norway, Mastercard is experimenting with a fingerprint identification system developed by Norway’s Zwipe, embedded into credit cards, hoping to make them more secure.

Anna Eriksson, spokeswoman of the Swedish Association of Senior Citizens, said elderly people need guarantees that cash can be used freely everywhere.

“Maybe we need incentives for older people to get an iPad to learn what’s positive about paying bills through a computer,” she said.

Still, there are silver linings, even in the rise of electronic fraud. Bank robberies — which can involve violence — fell in Sweden to a record low of five in 2012 from 16 the year before.

The Swedish central bank is far from phasing out cash; it will launch new notes and coins this year.

But it predicts the amount of cash in Sweden will fall by between 20 and 50 percent by 2020 compared with 2012.

And as the first generation of Internet users grows older, it seems likely that attachments to notes and coins will fade.

“It is an ongoing evolution,” said Peter Fredell, CEO of Swedish Seamless, which developed the payment app Seqr that handles around 3 billion transactions in stores, restaurants and e-trade annually.
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« Reply #20 on: February 04, 2015, 07:29:18 pm »

http://www.nowtheendbegins.com/blog/?p=30487
2/3/15
ALL AMERICAN CREDIT CARDS WILL DISAPPEAR IN 2015 AND BE REPLACED WITH RFID CHIP TECHNOLOGY

OCTOBER 2015: THE END OF THE SWIPE-AND-SIGN CREDIT CARD

“And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.” Revelation 13:17 (KJV)

Business Insider magazine reports a startling revelation today:

“Every credit card in the U.S. will be replaced by October 2015 with new cards that contain the chip-and-PIN technology that the rest of the world has had for years, according to the Wall Street Journal. Both Visa and MasterCard are committed to the switch, which will render extinct the plastic in your wallets and purses right now. No more black magnetic stripes; no more signing on the dotted line.” source

The new EMV credit card system in the U.S. is set to be rolled out by October, 2015. Also going away is the ability to sign for your purchases, that will no longer be necessary.

THE MARK OF THE BEAST TECHNOLOGY SYSTEM IS EVERYWHERE YOU LOOK TODAY
Instead, you will enter a PIN to verify that you are the holder of the card. Removing the human element is one more step in the march towards the Mark Of The Beast system that will be in place during the Tribulation under the Antichrist.

Obviously, all this is leading to a microchip being placed inside every human being, which would be the only way to guarantee that your card will not be lost or stolen.

“Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble; but he shall be saved out of it.” Jeremiah 30:7 (KJV)

Make no mistake about it, this will happen within our lifetime, within our generation. We are the generation that will see the Rapture of the Church of Jesus Christ, and the unsaved who will experience the time of Jacob’s trouble that will follow that event.

Just like God used Noah to warn the people for 120 years and then, in an instant, sent the first drop of rain that began The Flood. So now is God using His people, His watchmen, to warn and warn and warn until you are nearly exhausted from hearing about it. Until…

…Guess what comes next?
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« Reply #21 on: February 12, 2015, 10:24:30 am »

http://www.rfidjournal.com/articles/view?12691
Aspen Snowmass' Skiers Use RFID Lift Tickets to Pay for Food, Rentals
Visitors can now utilize their lift tickets to make purchases at restaurants, stores and rental offices, while ski instructors can use the technology to track class sizes.


Feb 09, 2015—When Colorado winter resort Aspen Snowmass launched a high-frequency (HF) RFID system provided by Skidata USA in 2008—which included HF RFID tags in all of its lift tickets, as well as RFID gates at its lifts—the lines were shortened and skiers were able to spend more time on the slopes and less time in queues. The solution was so beneficial that the resort, which includes hotels, restaurants and ski slopes on four different mountains, sought to expand its use of RFID to restaurants and stores as part of what it calls its Resort Charge program.

During the course of the past six years, the resort (owned and operated by Aspen Skiing Co.) has installed 165 RF IDeas pcProx readers, a type of low-cost USB-connected reader, at its restaurants and stores, as well as for use by its ski school and NASTAR race program. Since Nov. 1, at the start of the 2014-15 ski season, 4,048 guests have opted to use their lift tickets as a payment method onsite, according to Rob Blanchard, Aspen Skiing Co.'s director of IT support services.

Aspen Snowmass includes four separate ski and snowboarding areas on four adjacent mountains in the Aspen area. It also offers numerous stores and restaurants on its slopes, and in the neighboring Snowmass Village. Since 2008, skiers have been using lift tickets made with passive HF 13.56 MHz RFID tags—provided by Skidata—compliant with the ISO 15693 standard (see Aspen Signs With Skidata, RTP for Integrated RFID/POS System). The tickets can be read as skiers pass through one of the 48 gates for accessing lifts on the four different slopes. Each gate has four antennas (two on each side) that can read the tags from a distance of a foot or more. As such, skiers can ski right through the gate and have their lift tickets read and approved before they board a lift.

The skiing company next considered how the tickets could be used to enable hands-free payments. Blanchard notes that skiers typically carry cash or a credit card in a pocket—either of which can become lost on the slopes, and can be time-consuming to locate and remove from a pocket at the point of sale (POS).


The resort had considered using readers provided by its existing vendor, in order to read tags at the restaurants' POS stations. However, the readers came with a serial port and cost more than $400 each, which the resort deemed too expensive. Instead, Aspen Snowmass approached Illinois-based technology solutions provider iTech Automation Inc., which recommended the pcProx readers, according to Paul Lemieux, iTech's vice president. The readers cost about $150 apiece; once they were all installed, Blanchard says, the savings based on using the less expensive pcProx readers was approximately $54,000.

The second advantage to the pcProx readers, Blanchard reports, was the USB port connection. He says he simply received the readers, applied a small configuration file to each one and plugged them into the POS terminals, after which they started working. (However, Lemieux notes, the readers now come with the configuration file already applied).

Greg Gliniecki, RF IDeas' founder, says the readers come with built-in functionality that captures the ID number encoded to the lift ticket's RFID tag, and then automatically forwards that information to Aspen Snowmass' POS-based software, via the USB connection and the user's keystrokes. The readers, he adds, "are designed to be plug-and-play."

When an Aspen Snowmass visitor buys a lift ticket, an employee at the ticket booth uses a pcProx reader to encode and commission the tag embedded in that individual's lift ticket. At that point, the guest is given the option to participate in the Resort Charge program. If he agrees to join, he provides his signature as well as his credit card number, which is then encrypted and stored in the Aspen database along with the unique ID number encoded to his lift ticket's tag.


If the skier visits the restaurant and makes a purchase, the RFID tag can typically be read through clothing, so that if he stores his lift ticket in a pocket on the arm of of his coat, he need only position his arm near the reader, and the tag ID number will be captured. He can then follow the prompts to approve the transaction and have it charged to his credit card.

Once the restaurant system was working well at the resort's 18 food establishments, Blanchard says, his company began considering the equipment-rental areas and retail stores that it operates. The firm installed the pcProx readers at POS locations within its stores in 2011, and at the rental locations the following year.

At the stores, as with the restaurants, when a guest makes a purchase, she can simply position her lift ticket near the reader plugged into the POS computer, or hand it to a salesperson, who will then read its tag using a pcProx reader.

In the case of a rental, an individual first proceeds to the rental office and is invited to use a computer, where she can either tap her Resort Charge lift ticket next to the reader plugged into the computer, or input her name, address, age, weight and height, as well as other information that helps to determine the sizes of equipment she will need. If she is using Resort Charge, her information is already stored in the system, and she can simply select her profile and print out the rental forms, then take them to the point of sale to receive the equipment and pay, again using her Resort Charge-enabled lift ticket.

Blanchard says he has tested the Resort Charge system's speed against that of the traditional method of inputting data to rent equipment, and has found that it can save 10 to 15 minutes per transaction. His family also uses Resort Charge, since they are regular skiers as well. In the past, he says, he would have had to dole out $12 in cash to each of his children to pay for classes, food or drinks on the slopes. "So, we would have to stop at an ATM each Saturday morning," he states, "then stop at a store to break the $20 so we could give each of them exactly $12." With Resort Charge, all the kids need are their lift tickets. "We set their passes up with Resort Charge. Now, they just hand their pass to the cashier for payment of their lunch."

Last year, the company also began using the RFID system to identify the number of ski students who take classes from each instructor. The trainers are paid according to how many students they have, so it is important to know the total number of individuals who head up the slope with each instructor—a number that can then be compared against the trainer's reported figures. To collect this data automatically, the teacher, carrying an RFID-enabled lift ticket, passes through a reader gate, followed by his class. He then circles back and moves through the gate again (after the last of his students has passed through). Later, Aspen's management can run a report showing the instructor's first scan of his own lift ticket, the scans of his students' tickets, and his ticket's second scan, thereby indicating the size of his class, and thus creating a record that can be used for payroll purposes.

This season at Aspen, Blanchard adds, the NASTAR ski race program is using a pcProx reader to identify racers, via the RFID tags in their lift tickets, as they come to the start, thereby automatically entering each individual into the timing software (see NASTAR Ski Program Speeds Up Racecourse Access). The resort continues to consider other use cases for the RFID technology, he notes, but is unable to describe any details at this time.
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« Reply #22 on: March 26, 2015, 11:02:32 am »

Cashless society: A huge threat to our freedom

Econgularity, shorthand for economic singularity, is an ugly word I created to describe an unfortunate approaching moment in time when our current technological snooping prowess, the ease of big data manipulation and our sprint to a cashless economy will converge. This will happen in such a way as to permit governments to exercise incredibly powerful control over all human behavior.

Tune in to CNBC's "Closing Bell" Friday at 3pm ET. Signature Bank Chairman Scott Shay will be on, talking about how close we are to becoming a cashless society and the huge threat it is to our freedom.

While this may sound like a paranoid doomsday scenario to some, as a real world finance professional, I believe that this scenario is not only eminently possible, but most of the technology is already available — albeit not yet fully marshaled — to frighteningly make it reality.

Technological advances have led to the creation of algorithms that can instantaneously review financial transactions, determining the nature, location and even the appropriateness of a purchase decision. These have been freely used by credit- and debit-card companies.

Cardholders already encounter this technology when they receive fraud alerts after a transaction that looks out of kilter with the particular consumer's normal purchasing patterns. The technologies can thus serve to protect consumers. That said, they have already been used to control consumer behavior. In 2010, Visa and MasterCard, bowed to government pressure — not even federal or state law — and banned all online-betting payments from their systems. This made it virtually impossible for these gambling sites to continue operating regardless of their jurisdiction or legality. It is not too far-fetched to wonder if the day might come when the health records of an overweight individual would lead to a situation in which they find that any sugary drink purchase they make through a credit or debit card is declined. Sounds far-fetched but maybe not so.

You might think then that the person can always pay cash and remain outside the purview of these technologies. This may be the case for the moment, but we are well on the road to becoming a cashless society. According to a MasterCard study, 80 percent of U.S. consumer transactions are electronic. In Sweden, one observer estimates that only 3 percent of transactions are made with currency. In fact, the decline in cash use has become so pronounced in Sweden that homeless beggars have been given card readers by Situation Stockholm to sell freely distributed newspapers and to receive alms, since potential donors no longer carry cash. Governments and central banks are also subtle supporters of a cashless society as there are indeed costs to producing currency and coins. Monetary policy could also be much more efficiently executed without currency circulating, since it would then be easy to implement negative interest-rate policies. But there is also a sinister risk to a cashless society.

This point comes when a society goes cashless and the potential for econgularity is at its highest. A singularity is defined as the point in which technological advancement will "radically change human civilization and perhaps even human nature itself." It is impossible to know if this will actually happen, but a cashless society would certainly give governments unprecedented access to information and power over citizens. Currently, we have little evidence to indicate that governments will refrain from using this power. On the contrary, the U.S. government is already using its snooping prowess and big-data manipulation in some frightening ways.

The technological command of the National Security Agency has been widely reported on and does not need repeating here. Suffice it to note, that it would be no challenge for the NSA or certain other government agencies to monitor any company or consumer transaction in real time, if it so desired.

To provide another example, the U.S. government is becoming very fond of seizing money from citizens first and asking questions later via "civil forfeiture." Amazingly, the government is permitted by law to do this even if it is only government staff members who have a suspicion, not proof, of wrongdoing. By seizing a citizen's or a firm's money, the victim/defendant has almost no choice but to settle. A case about civil forfeiture was recently argued in front of the Supreme Court in which the government seized all the money of a tiny family-owned grocery store on the suspicion that it was laundering cash because its cash deposits were below the $10,000 level, an occurrence that triggers a report to the government. By depriving companies and individuals of the cash to defend themselves, even innocent firms are under immense pressure to settle or to plead guilty. To make matters worse, the dramatic consolidation of the banking system has made it easier for the government to acquire information as there are fewer access points. For example, JPMorgan, one of America's largest and most powerful banks, is the size of more than 3,000 smaller banks combined, and the top four U.S. banks control about 60 percent of the U.S. banking deposits.

The U.S. government has also been using less dramatic means to limit the freedom of its citizens. In recent years, it made it increasingly difficult for companies to operate or individuals to transact by adding compliance hurdles for banks wishing to deal with certain categories of clients. By making it too expensive to deal with certain clients or sending the signal that a bank should not deal with a particular client or type of client, the government can almost assuredly keep that company or person out of the banking system. Banks are so critically dependent on government regulatory approval for their actions that observers like Warren Buffett, among many others, have recognized the government's immense power over banks. Recently, even JPMorgan, announced that it would be ending relationships with whole categories of clients that pose compliance challenges.

If current government trends continue, a cashless economy could thus very well lead to an econgularity. Imagine a future in which soon, a government staff member could suspect an individual of some misconduct, or perhaps deem that person's politics or speech unacceptable. It would take just a few keystrokes to order all financial institutions to decline any withdrawal or payment from that individual and to transfer any deposits or payments of that person to the government, or at least freeze any access to funds. Perhaps this would need to be reviewed by a secret court that would approve 99.7 percent of all requests, but would provide a veneer of due process. It is fair to think that the targeted individual might starve to death. This could be insured by cutting off access to the payment system of anyone suspected of helping the targeted individual.

While bitcoin, a private synthetic cyber currency, might seem like an antidote to this scenario, it, too, requires connectivity, which can be subject to monitoring. Further, the exchange of bitcoin to the currency of the country in question can be regulated in ways that could limit or even end its utility. Testimony by regulators to the U.S. Senate on Nov. 18th that the government can deal with bitcoin via the existing currency transaction surveillance laws and surveillance methods in place is a pretty good indication that U.S. agencies could also envelop bitcoin via meta-data and behavioral analysis.

It is by no means certain that such a dystopian outcome will occur in a cashless society. It could be that certain countries such as Sweden can make the leap without any adverse consequences. But my fear is that some governments will find it irresistible to take much greater control of the everyday behaviors of their citizens simply because they can.

There are certainly positive outcomes that can be obtained by going cashless. For example, banning sale transactions of cigarettes or sugary drinks or stopping cardholders from overeating, gambling, or whatever other vice is targeted, could lead to a decrease in these vices and their associated problems. A decrease in those problems could positively impact other areas, like, for example, our nation's health-care system. A cashless society would probably also mean less street crime. Yet in return for these benefits, there is an incalculable cost to our humanity. We would lose our freedom to make decisions. It is easy to imagine a totalitarian regime using these tools to great harm. Given current U.S. government policies, it is also very easy to imagine even a liberal government such as our own, being sorely tempted to use the confluence of these technologies. And once used, because they are so very, very powerful, even liberal governments will be enticed into using them until there is pretty complete monitoring and control of every transaction.

So now is the time to urge Congress to repeal civil forfeiture and to forbid government agencies from intruding on the financial payments of U.S. citizens or companies without due process unless it is a matter of national security or imminent harm. We can also hope that the Supreme Court will find civil forfeiture to be unconstitutional as it should be viewed. By putting such strictures in place today we can change the trajectory of our current path. On a day-to- day basis, we should also decrease out debit- or credit-card use to preserve the market share of currency in our economy and stop the demise of cash. There are lots of other benefits to this as spending real cash out of our pockets makes us consider our expenditures more carefully and increases our savings rate.

Philosopher and economist Adam Smith observed that we are all economic beings in the sense that our essence as humans stems from our ability to make fair trades for our labor or our products. We make these transactions in the presence of the usually benevolent "invisible hand," as Smith called it in his book "An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations." The invisible hand optimizes our total production, and, by and large, fosters our freedom. A "visible hand" monitoring every single transaction we make could be one of the greatest — and least expected — threats to freedom we have ever encountered in human history. This is the threat of econgularity.

http://www.cnbc.com/id/101266173
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« Reply #23 on: April 16, 2015, 06:27:07 pm »

Citi Economist Says It Might Be Time to Abolish Cash



The world's central banks have a problem.

When economic conditions worsen, they react by reducing interest rates in order to stimulate the economy. But, as has happened across the world in recent years, there comes a point where those central banks run out of room to cut — they can bring interest rates to zero, but reducing them further below that is fraught with problems, the biggest of which is cash in the economy.

In a new piece, Citi's Willem Buiter looks at this problem, which is known as the effective lower bound (ELB) on nominal interest rates.

Fundamentally, the ELB problem comes down to cash. According to Buiter, the ELB only exists at all due to the existence of cash, which is a bearer instrument that pays zero nominal rates. Why have your money on deposit at a negative rate that reduces your wealth when you can have it in cash and suffer no reduction?

Cash therefore gives people an easy and effective way of avoiding negative nominal rates.

Buiter's note suggests three ways to address this problem:

        Abolish currency.

        Tax currency.

        Remove the fixed exchange rate between currency and central bank reserves/deposits.

Yes, Buiter's solution to cash's ability to allow people to avoid negative deposit rates is to abolish cash altogether. (Note that he's far from being the first to float this idea. Ken Rogoff has given his endorsement to the idea as well, as have others.)

Before looking at the practicalities of abolishing currency, we should first look at whether it could ever be necessary. Due to the costs of holding large amounts of cash, Buiter puts the actual nominal rate at which the move to cash makes sense as closer to -100bp. So, in order for a cash abolition to become necessary, central banks would need to be in a position where they wished to set nominal rates much lower than that.

Buiter does not have to go far to find an example of where a central bank may have wanted to set interest rates much lower to -100bp. He uses (a fairly aggressive) Taylor Rule to show that Federal Reserve rates should have been as low as -6 percent during the financial crisis.

It seems Buiter is correct: Sometimes strongly negative nominal rates are called for.

Buiter is aware that his idea may be somewhat controversial, so he goes to the effort of listing the disadvantages of abolishing cash.

        Abolishing currency will constitute a noticeable change in many people’s lives and change often tends to be resisted.

        Currency use remains high among the poor and some older people. (Buiter suggests that keeping low-denomination cash in circulation — nothing larger than $5 — might solve this.)

        Central banks and governments would lose seigniorage revenue.

        Abolishing currency would inevitably be associated with a loss of privacy and create risks of excessive intrusion by the government.

        Switching exclusively to electronic payments may create new security and operational risks.

Buiter dismisses each of these concerns in turn, finishing with:

    In summary, we therefore conclude that the arguments against abolishing currency seem rather weak.

Whatever the strength of the arguments, the chances of an administration taking the decision to abolish cash seem vanishingly small.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-04-10/citi-economist-says-it-might-be-time-to-abolish-cash
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« Reply #24 on: April 19, 2015, 08:31:22 pm »

https://www.yahoo.com/tech/in-the-future-your-veins-could-replace-your-116644086459.html
4/19/15
In the Future, Your Veins Could Replace Your Passwords

Forget having to remember passwords for all of your favorite websites and apps. In the future, PayPal wants the very veins in your body to act as your password.

No, that’s not a typo. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, PayPal’s global head of developer evangelism, Jonathan Leblanc, says that traditional “external” methods of identifying people, such as passwords and even fingerprints, could eventually give way to things like vein and heartbeat recognition.

Basically, the patterns the veins make in your body and your exact heartbeat could be used to do things like make wireless payments or even log in to websites.

How does PayPal expect this to work? By having people embed special chips under your skin that can, “contain ECG sensors that monitor the heart’s unique electrical activity and communicate the data via wireless antennae to ‘wearable computer tattoos.’”

That’s not all, though. Leblanc also told the Journal that people could eventually be able to eat special sensors that identify you based on your glucose levels. What would power these internal sensors? Why, your own stomach acid, of course.

Why is this necessary? Because, as Leblanc points out, the current methods of user identification are simply too unreliable.

People forget their passwords or use passwords that are too simple to crack, while fingerprints and things like location verification can lead to false positives that let hackers get into your accounts.

This isn’t the first time the idea of putting passwords inside our bodies has been brought up. Motorola previously discussed using an electronic tattoo on your skin to identify users, as well as an edible “vitamin” that you would swallow and could then communicate with other gadgets.

And according to Forbes, the vitamin has already been approved by the FDA.

If this all sounds super sci-fi and a bit crazy, Leblanc completely understands. As he explained in the interview, it’ll be quite a while before people are actually comfortable with using any of these technologies.

And though PayPal is interested in them, the company isn’t saying it would use edible or injectable security methods in the future. It just wants to explore the possibilities.

The only problem I can see with this is that it will make binge-purchasing old Star Wars action figures at 3:00 in the morning way too easy. But that’s something we’ll all have to deal with eventually. Right?
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« Reply #25 on: May 07, 2015, 12:03:51 pm »

Denmark moves closer to a cashless society

Denmark has moved one step closer to becoming the world's first cashless society, as the government proposes scrapping the obligation for retailers to accept cash as payment.

The Danish government has said that as of next year, business such as clothing retailers, restaurants and petrol stations should no longer be legally bound to accept cash payments.

The proposal is part of a package of economic growth measures, which are being released ahead of this year's Danish election. It aims to reduce costs and increase productivity for Danish businesses.

Finansrådet, a Danish finance industry lobbying group, says the change would free retailers from the cost of security, and the burden of managing change and notes.

Although it seems like a drastic step, the Danes are already moving away from paper and metal money.

Almost a third of the population uses an official Danske Bank app called MobilePay - it links your mobile to other users' phones or to a sensor at the till, allowing you to confirm payments with a simple swipe on your smartphone's screen.

Similar technologies like Paym are available in the UK, which allows users to transfer money to others by entering their mobile number. Google Wallet turns your phone into a contactless card, allowing you to tap your device against readers to transfer money - however, it is currently only available in the USA.

But both of these technologies are still yet to see the level of adoption that MobilePay has in Denmark.

There are fears that moving to totally cashless payments could increase the risk of fraud - in Sweden, a nation with one of the highest numbers of bank transactions per person in the European Union, cases of card fraud have doubled in the last decade.

However, Danske Bank has taken steps to fight fraud, by linking individuals' MobilePay accounts to their national insurance numbers.

The change would need to be approved in a vote at the Folketing, the Danish parliament, but the timing of the vote has not yet been set.

However, in a country where cashless payments are so common, it looks unlikely that the proposal will face much opposition...

The Nordic countries of Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland and Iceland lead the world in cashless payments - cash payments for even the smallest items, such as a packet of chewing gum, are commonplace.

In 2013, a Swedish bank robber left empty-handed, after he found out that the Stockholm bank he held up did not carry any cash.

Five of Sweden's six big banks now operate cashless branches where possible, and some predict the country could become cashless by 2030.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/denmark-moves-closer-to-a-cashless-society-10231995.html
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« Reply #26 on: May 13, 2015, 04:05:13 pm »

How to end boom and bust: make cash illegal

Comment: Forcing everyone to spend only by electronic means from an account held at a government-run bank would give the authorities far better tools to deal with recessions and economic booms, writes Jim Leaviss


 Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked

 A proposed new law in Denmark could be the first step towards an economic revolution that sees physical currencies and normal bank accounts abolished and gives governments futuristic new tools to fight the cycle of “boom and bust”.

The Danish proposal sounds innocuous enough on the surface – it would simply allow shops to refuse payments in cash and insist that customers use contactless debit cards or some other means of electronic payment.

Officially, the aim is to ease “administrative and financial burdens”, such as the cost of hiring a security service to send cash to the bank, and is part of a programme of reforms aimed at boosting growth – there is evidence that high cash usage in an economy acts as a drag.

But the move could be a key moment in the advent of “cashless societies”. And once all money exists only in bank accounts – monitored, or even directly controlled by the government – the authorities will be able to encourage us to spend more when the economy slows, or spend less when it is overheating.

This may all sound far-fetched, but the idea has been developed in some detail by a Norwegian academic, Trond Andresen*.

In this futuristic world, all payments are made by contactless card, mobile phone apps or other electronic means, while notes and coins are abolished. Your current account will no longer be held with a bank, but with the government or the central bank. Banks still exist, and still lend money, but they get their funds from the central bank, not from depositors.

Having everyone’s account at a single, central institution allows the authorities to either encourage or discourage people to spend. To boost spending, the bank imposes a negative interest rate on the money in everyone’s account – in effect, a tax on saving.

Faced with seeing their money slowly confiscated, people are more likely to spend it on goods and services. When this change in behaviour takes place across the country, the economy gets a significant fillip.

The recipient of cash responds in the same way, and also spends. Money circulates more quickly – or, as economists say, the “velocity of money” increases.

What about the opposite situation – when the economy is overheating? The central bank or government will certainly drop any negative interest on credit balances, but it could go further and impose a tax on transactions.

So whenever you use the money in your account to buy something, you pay a small penalty. That makes people less inclined to spend and more inclined to save, so reducing economic activity.

Such an approach would be a far more effective way to damp an overheated economy than today’s blunt tool of a rise in the central bank’s official interest rate.

If this sounds rather fanciful, negative interest rates already exist in Denmark, where the central bank charges depositors 0.75pc a year, and in Switzerland.

At the moment it’s easy for individuals to avoid seeing their money eroded this way – they can simply hold banknotes, stored either in a safe or under the proverbial mattress.

But if notes and coins were abolished and the only way to hold money was through a government-controlled bank, there would be no escape.

Apart from the control over the economy, there would be many other advantages of a cashless society. Such a system is much cheaper to run than one based on banknotes and coins. Forgery is impossible, as are robberies.

Electronic money is an inclusive and convenient system, giving poor and rural sectors of an economy – where cash machines and bank branches may be few and far between and not all people have accounts – a tool for easy participation in the economy.

Finally, the “black economy” will be hugely diminished, and tax evasion made all but impossible.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/comment/11602399/Ban-cash-end-boom-and-bust.html
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« Reply #27 on: May 29, 2015, 07:32:51 am »

Implants to aid payment with a wave of the hand

Is it retail therapy gone mad? The dawn of a new cyborg age? Or a new meaning to going down under?

Whatever the case, a fair proportion of Australians are receptive to technology mixing with their precious human organic flesh, if it means making payments at retail stores is easier.

A survey, commissioned by global payments firm Visa, found 25 per cent of Australians were “slightly interested” in having a commerce-oriented chip implanted in their skin.

Research firm UMR conducted the survey for Visa, interviewing 1000 local consumers.

A subcutaneous chip would let consumers pay at a retail terminal without a wallet, credit card, smartphone or smartwatch. They would simply wave their bare hand over a terminal.

The finding was revealed as Visa and University of Technology Sydney announced a partnership to explore the future of wearable technology. Visa’s research looked at the wearable technology Australian consumers were interested in using for payments.

Thirty-two per cent would be interested in paying with a smartwatch; 29 per cent with a smart ring, and 26 per cent with smart glasses.

It is little wonder Visa regards Australians as adventurous with tech. “Australians are among the world’s earliest adopters of new technology,” said George Lawson, Head of Emerging Products and Innovation for Visa in ANZSP.

There’s nothing new about implanting tags under the skin. The US firm VeriChip obtained approval to do just that more than a decade ago.

Their chip consisted of a tiny antenna and an identification number. It was designed to be implanted in the soft tissue between the thumb and index finger and detected by a radiofrequency identification (RFID) scanner.

Before you see the human species morphing towards a cyborg future, there is a cautious note. Research in the past has linked subcutaneous chips to cancers in laboratory animals at the implant site.

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/technology/implants-to-aid-payment-with-a-wave-of-the-hand/story-e6frgakx-1227368819195
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« Reply #28 on: May 31, 2015, 11:00:58 am »

Cashless Control Grid: 25% of Australians Would Get a Chip Implanted in Them to Pay for Stuff

Just wow.

People really have learned to love their high tech servitude.

Via Business Insider Australia:

    A mind-boggling 25% of Australians say they are at least “slightly interested” at the prospect of having a chip implanted in their skin that could be used for payments, new research has found.

    The research by credit card company Visa and the University of Technology Sydney found Australians are open to the prospect of paying for items using wearable tech including smart watches, rings, glasses and even a connected car. [emphasis added]

    “Australians are among the world’s earliest adopters of new technology,” Head of Emerging Products and Innovation for Visa in Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific, George Lawson said.

Think we’re being tracked and traced now? Why would you be interested in not only taking the mark but for a cashless control grid in the modern era of corruption we find ourselves swimming in? This is not only trusting to the point of idiocy, it’s literally voting for one’s own enslavement.

What happens when the government starts turning people’s chips off for not falling in line and being good little statist citizens? Have fun buying milk and bread then, Australians.

- See more at: http://www.thedailysheeple.com/25-of-australians-would-totally-get-a-chip-implanted-in-them-to-pay-for-stuff_052015#sthash.LqwpFvQc.dpuf

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« Reply #29 on: September 20, 2015, 05:16:10 am »

Bank Of England Economist Calls For Cash Ban, Urges Negative Rates

Just three short years ago, Bank of England chief economist Andy Haldane appeared a lone voice of sanity in a world fanatically-religious Keynesian-esque worshippers. Admissions in 2013 (on blowing bubbles) and 2014 (on Too Big To Fail "problems from hell") also gave us pause that maybe someone in charge of central planning might actually do something to return the world to some semblance of rational 'free' markets. We were wrong! Haldane appears to have fully transitioned to the dark side, as The Telegraph reports, he made the case for the "radical" option of supporting the economy with negative interest rates, and even suggested that cash could have to be abolished.

Speaking at the Portadown Chamber of Commerce in Northern Ireland, as The Telegraph reports, Mr Haldane's support for a possible cut in rates came as the Bank as a whole has signalled that the next move in rates would be up.

    Andy Haldane, one of the Bank’s nine interest rate setters, made the case for the "radical" option of supporting the economy with negative interest rates, and even suggested that cash could have to be abolished.

    He said that the "the balance of risks to UK growth, and to UK inflation at the two-year horizon, is skewed squarely and significantly to the downside".

    As a result, "there could be a need to loosen rather than tighten the monetary reins as a next step to support UK growth and return inflation to target".

But recent volatility in financial markets, prompted by China, and a decision by the US Federal Reserve to delay rate hikes, have pushed back expectations of the Bank's first rate rise to November 2016.

    Traditionally policymakers have resisted cutting rates below zero because when the returns on savings fall into negative territory, it encourages people to take their savings out of the bank and hoard them in cash.

Interestingly, one idea, Haldane told an audience of business owners in Northern Ireland, could be to scrap cash and adopt a state-issued digital currency like Bitcoin. Although widely reviled as the currency for drug dealers and criminals, Haldane said Bitcoin’s distributed payment technology had ‘real potential’. Which may explain the Fed's sudden fascination in the virtual currency.

NIRP - it would appear - is about to global.

So Haldane has gone from worrying that "financial markets were detaching themselves too materially from fundamentals" and fearing the "biggest risk to global financial stability right now it would be a disorderly reversion in the yields of government bonds globally," the BoE's chief economist has not only called for policies which will enable an even bigger bond bubble but will also remove freedom from the people to do what 'they' think is best with their capital. Indoctrination is complete (or more ominously, is there something Haldane sees that has driven him to this extremist perspective?)

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-09-18/bank-england-economist-calls-cash-ban-urges-negative-rates
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