Rise of the Virtual Economy: A World Without Cash
Recently a partnership was struck between digital money transaction application Square and coffee chain Starbucks. This means that to order your tall non-fat chai latte to go, you no longer need your wallet.
In a world where print is becoming increasingly arcane and digital assets represent real life possessions ΓÇô is it so outlandish to conceive of a world without coins and notes?
Decide whether you think itΓÇÖs a possibility with the following visions of the future…
For: Digital Dough
What is it that makes virtual money transfer so appealing? Well for starters itΓÇÖs often instantaneous, available at the click of a button, eliminating the need to carry wads of cash and it records everything you do so that you can keep track of whatΓÇÖs most important.
So if the whole world went cash-free would it be a bad thing? Already so many services and companies are purely online; Amazon.com, Wikipedia, YouTube and Facebook are just a few of the household brands sweeping the world, yet they only exist in virtual form.
In a digital cash-free world, muggings would presumably go down and no unmarked transactions could take place. That means selling off the iPhone you just nicked would get you discovered and avoiding tax would be literally impossible.
Never again would you misplace ┬ú20 on a night out or lose all your change down the back of the sofa. The UK economy would save on the cost of printing money and banks and shops wouldnΓÇÖt have money on-site to be stolen, reducing violent crime the world over.
Could a world without tangible cash result in a crime-reduced, tax-paying, money-safe nirvana?
Against: Keeping the Coin
Maybe not. With current mobile money technology you do earn rewards on certain payments, but you also pay a 2.75% fee for every single transfer you make ΓÇô making everything more expensive.
And what of the market stalls, the flower sellers and the small businesses of old? Are we really ready to completely let go of what once made this country great and what continues to charm tourists enough to visit in their droves every year?
Also, trust in the banks is not exactly at an all-time high so anyone who has decided to pull all their money out would have this freedom taken away from them ΓÇô you would have no choice but to let a big corporation hold on to all your assets for you. And hopefully not lose them again.
Let us not forget that we are also living in a world of hackers, solar flares and power cuts. How easily could a hacktivist or a natural disaster just ΓÇÿdeleteΓÇÖ all your hard-earned cash?
Perhaps a world without coin and cash would induce global vulnerability to untold chaos, potentially stripping you of access to your own money at nothing but a momentΓÇÖs notice.
Would you like to live in a world without cash or do you think itΓÇÖs a recipe for certain chaos? Tell us in the comments below.