Making a stand for CASH!

in LeoFinance8 months ago


As far as I know, cash should still be legal tender and should be accepted everywhere even in this semi-digital age. I mean, if you really want to go full digital, then we should use cryptocurrencies... and then be able to use privacy-enabled networks and protocols for spending.

... but there has been a real push for societies to go "cashless".... all in the name of convenience, digitalisation (haha... the half arsed sort), and more recently... hygiene. At some point, we are really reaching for excuses... but the real reason is traceability (mixed bag)... and more importantly, middle-man fees.

So, I won't go too much into the traceability part of things... this and privacy are really quite a huge problems that got caught up in the digitalisation of our lives when the infrastructure wasn't quite ready for it. Now, it is hopeful that privacy can be restored through privacy-first protocols and networks that don't have to do a hack-job of providing that service, but rely on mathematics and cryptography to do so (at least for a reasonable enough timeframe against different types of adversaries, but it can't ever be forever!).

Sure, these are huge problems, but they aren't going to be sorted easily... where I do have a huge problem is that places are refusing to take cash for whatever reason... and payment providers are pushing the ease of paying by phone or card as reasons for reducing or eliminating cash payments. Now, the payment providers have a huge incentive to push this line... as they take a cut of every payment, and it is up to the individual retailer to decide whether or not they push that cost (transparently or otherwise) to the consumer. And if cryptocurrency and decentralised networks have taught us anything... it is to be wary of those who stick themselves in between parties to serve as a "trusted" middleman... whilst taking a little chomp of every transaction and interaction.

What really gets me going is when retailers refuse cash payments AND pass the costs of the transaction to the customer. This has been a bit of a thing lately, and I do understand the problems of retailers eating up all the costs of the transaction... but if you don't offer a fee-less option (cash)... then you really should just eat the cost yourself. Of course, the better solution is to just remove the middleman.. either by using cash, or some other decentralised alternative (cough cough...)

Over this coming week in Australia, there has been a pushback to avoid using cards and to actively use cash to pay for goods and services. I'm all for this, I'm definitely using cash (actually, I tend to use it as much as possible!)... and I really hope that this sends a message to retailers. But in the end, I do think that it is a losing cause... and that cash is slowly being phased out as legal tender.

... which does meant that we need to have some privacy-centric alternatives ready for use, and even better if they are decentralised! I would rather pay fees to a network rather than a huge multinational that is just holding payments hostage in return for fees!

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For me the concept of 'cashless' society which most frightens me is the small countless activities which take place every day in our lives and which contribute to who we are and add meaning. Dropping a few coins in a homeless persons cup, tipping the refuge guys for taking an additional bag of refuse.... I don't know... just the myriad of things that make up day to day stuff. Here in South Africa one would be hard pressed to ONLY use cashless as we frequently do not have electricity for hours on end.
I believe a lot of the lockdown mandates was to squeeze the small business person out... and to consolidate retail, banking, independent contractors into huge corporations such as Blackrock , Walmart, Costco etc..... and make going cashless far more seamless.
Do our African brothers who peddle their ice cream carts around in blazing heat for a small cash profit on his stock now have to get card machine? The cost of the batteries wipes out 30% of his profit.... and the 9 year old child wanting to buy an ice cream needs to have a digital payment system.... oh yeah, I forgot, it is the IoT chip inserted between thumb and forefinger which mom and dad top up with weekly allowance... track all she spends on, what she is watching, what she is eating ..... {thinks} 'Grrrrr, I need , want a stiff drink'

Yes, you do make good points... I hadn't thought about a few of those! And definitely, the reliance of a good supply of electricity is another thing that doesn't spring to mind in our country!

I see many drawbacks to a cashless system on these traditional retailers and businesses. The system is set in a way that it tracks everything and the fees have to be sorted out between the consumer and the retailer. On top of it, the middleman also has a share of the overall transaction. I prefer using cash for all kind of physical purchases, I don't buy the idea of hygiene :)

Yep, I really get annoyed about the middleman fees... even more when the retailer doesn't offer an option and just passes the cost straight to the customer.

Decentralized P2P payments are ideally a small immediate solution to those who know how the systems work.

Banking fraternity are grappling to keep making money off people hard earned amounts as middleman is taking a huge percentage quietly every day.

Cash will remain in our region as many have no clue as to how to do banking using card system yet.

Be careful for what you wish for and watch the so called "convenience" does not bite back eventually in the future.

@tipu curate

Yes, this will hopefulyl be the way of the future... but it might be still a little way off!

On this side of the pond I think it will be a long time in coming to multitude.

The more choices the better so I am all for cash transactions. They aren’t THAT anonymous though. Every time money passes through a bank it is tracked. Japan has a cool system of letting you pay for almost anything with your subway pass. Many people have their identity tied to their pass but it’s not required. So they may be able to track my purchases but my purchases are not tied to my identity (I’m guessing with some resources they might be able to trace me through metadata but I could easily use the card only certain places and for certain things if I want). It’s actually a bit like using bitcoin or other crypto but it’s fiat money

Yes, that is definitely true... it isn't completely anonymous, but at least there needs to be a bit more work done to track it! But more to the point, I really dislike the concept of the electronic transactions collecting middleman fees.

I use cash for about 98% of purchases always have.

Phew... slightly more than me! I think I do it mostly for shopping and groceries.