"I wonder sometimes, is the government regulating the banks, or are the banks regulating the government?" - market analyst Gordon Long
The cashless society is already being implemented in a number of ways and a growing number of countries are jumping on board with the war on cash. In some areas they are outlawing cash in safety deposit boxes, and banks in various countries are also outlawing and flagging large lump-sum cash withdrawals and transactions. A number of citizens have also wrongfully had their bank accounts seized, via asset forfeiture and structuring laws, because their cash transactions were deemed suspicious. These controversial laws have accidentally scooped-up so many innocent individuals in their web, that it prompted Attorney General Eric Holder to recently issue new guidance concerning those types of offenses. Individuals are now required to be criminally charged or found to have engaged in additional criminal activity, for their assets to be seized by the state.
It's clear that we are heading toward a future that isn't going to be very cash-friendly. And we can see the trend being fueled in a number of ways, from billion-dollar corporations holding cash-free festivals, to other entertainment events of business establishments operating in digital currency only. There are some reasonable-sounding arguments being made to help market the move toward a cashless society; from eradicating an underground economy to better tracking criminal activity. Having a completely cashless society might also influence citizens not to speak out against the state, if they think that their financial accounts might be seized indefinitely.
In some cases, banks are now even charging their customers if they want to hold their cash in their establishments. JPMorgan Chase recently sent a letter to some of its large depositors weeks ago, telling them that it would soon begin charging customers a “utilization fee” of 1 percent a year on deposits in excess of money that it needs for its own operations. Banks have traditionally always been there as an option for citizens to choose when they are looking for someone to hold onto and protect their money, but we are moving now into a new era where citizens will need to pay for the privilege of holding their money in the bank.
When it comes to a cashless society, there are already seemingly transparent solutions outside of the central option, like we've seen with the development of digital crypto-currencies. Silver and gold have also always been around and held onto their value, while thousands of fiat currencies have failed. However, we have seen the government criminalize the possession of precious metals in the past, and some fear that the same thing might happen again in the future.
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