Cryptocurrency, COVID-19, And The Cashless Society
In 2020, the talk of a cashless society was happening in earnest among both conspiracy-minded people and non-conspiracy thinkers. Going cashless has in some circles been a topic of conversation I find runs in some regrettable cases toward the most baseless conspiracy theories such as the pending arrival of the Antichrist and other such nonsense.
Since the pandemic began some in the cryptocurrency community have more sensibly discussed whether America should move toward a cashless society and toward other solutions including cryptocurrency as a way to provide safer transactions (presumably “safer” refers to germs and viral transmission potential).
All the way back in September 2020, one crypto website, CoinTelegraph.com asked the question–and answered it–thusly: “Americans don’t want to give up their paper money, but they should…”
Why? Part of the motivation for thinking this way is rooted in practicality rather than fears of a one-world government, the Bilderbergs, the Trilateral Commission, or other shrill hand-wringing conspiracy thinking.
CoinTelegraph.com notes, “Consumers, increasingly adjusting to working from home, have been both forced and willing to deal with handling financial transactions electronically.” The article adds that those in the finance community, especially those giving out financial planning advice, “are also adjusting to the ‘new normal’ and recognizing the potential of online tools and resources, including digitized financial investments.”
Is cryptocurrency the answer to paper money? Will America and other countries go cashless? Some say yes because of things like the reports earlier in 2020 of coin shortages–the idea here being that we’ll be forced to deal with cashless transactions en masse due to such issues or related ones.
False Claims & Cashless Society Theories
But AP News reports that claims that there was no REAL coin shortage and that such problems were manufactured to help usher in a cashless country? These claims are utterly baseless. Why? AP News asserts, “The coins aren’t being circulated because businesses are closed and sales are down during the pandemic. The government isn’t pushing the U.S. into a cashless society, either. The U.S. Mint is actively producing more coins to alleviate the short supply.” That was published on the AP official site back in July 2020.
Cash Is Preferred
But there are other reasons why cryptocurrency, as great as it may be, won’t ultimately replace paper money. One reason is that a large segment of the United States economy–and let’s not forget that the U.S. has moved increasingly toward a service economy in the last 30 years–absolutely depends on cash.
Consider the wait staff that live on tips rather than depending on their (low) hourly earnings. What about the large numbers of people who are paid in cash (and sometimes under the table) for their work? No, neither of those two sectors can make or break a move toward cashless, but Forbes.com reminds that cash is still the second-most used payment method in the United States.
Cryptocurrency can’t compete with that in these times, and it’s not going to replace cash anytime soon. Nevermind what the conspiracy people say–ask a business person.