Once I paid for my lunch with my Q card at KTH’s fantastic Q restaurant , at Q building (I know lot’s of Qs!). A around 50 y/o man tried to pay for his lunch with his cash, but cashier did not accept it, because restaurant does not accept cash any more. Guy complained, and I think he was right: “I am Swedish in Sweden and I have Swedish Kronor and you do not accept it?”
I know, This blogpost will disappoint my friend and Professor Niklas Arvidsson from KTH. He is expert in cashless / mobile payments and usually does research on this topic,. He is well sought person in the local and global media in regards to this topic! From time to time we chat and everythime I met him, I learn new stuff from him, I know how qualified person is he in this domain!.
You may think I am a conservative but I do not think we should have a cashless society with current monetary and banking system. I agree with cashless society supporters, when they claim it is easier to use cards over money ( even though I feel nostalgic to see printed money from time to time.) It is much easier to keep track of spending, savings, for bookkeeping etc. No doubt about that.
I was also very excited when Liberland founder decided to use bitcoin for his “new” liberal state.
Cashless society supporters claim that with digitization of money, governments can keep track of transactions and they can limit money flow to criminal activities. I don’t buy it!. Is it really so?
Let’s face it, money is already virtual and digital. Economic Crises that happened in US did not happen with printed physical money. I bought and sold flats myself and I never carried cash in bag. I saw no printed money during money transfer. It was a basic digital number change in computer! Therefore, money is already digital, right? If you want to go further, you can even buy & sell gold via bankss, so gold is digital, too!
On the other hand, I remember how, government could limit citizens’ access to resources that citizens already owned in Greece! I also remember when one of my friends was trying to find cash to bring with her for for her summer vacation in Greece since she was travelling that night that this sanctions introduced.
Please add this info on top of that: there is a limited amount of cash that Swedish state guarantees when/if the bank I have money in, bankrupts
We also know several occasions when a a bank,or a government can easily issue a warrant to block my digital accounts. As an individual, what can I have to protect my right to buy/ own something with my legal money? Do you really think everything will be alright if I have not done anything illegal? Well, if you look at the history, there are tons of victims of greedy corporations, bad leaders. How can individuals be protected against dictators, big greedy control freak companies when everything is digitized?
Why, the well earned and tax payed money of a citizen has to be kept in a bank in digital format? Why I am not able to carry my digital money with me in printed or digital format (e.g in USB – hello block-chain!).
Digitization of money will shift power from citizens to states / private institutions. Until then, long live physical money and physical gold!