Making a stand for CASH!

By bengy | Idle Musings | 5 Jul 2023

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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!


I can also be found cross-posting at:

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I am a Musician (Violinist/Violist) specialising in Early Music living in The Netherlands. I have a background in Mathematics and Physics due to an earlier tertiary level study... and so, I'm still quite interested in Science and Technology related stuff!

Idle Musings
Idle Musings

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