Cash is definitely on the way out. In most developed countries, a store that only accepts cash is a rarity, and usually an inconvenience. Now, according to a report from the Access to Cash group, cash in the UK might virtually disappear in the next decade. That, combined with an increase in cryptocurrency usage, could spell out what the future will look like.
The story the report tells is convincing. First is a vicious cycle that will lead to the end of physical, fiat money. As cash becomes less desirable, ATMs are becoming more expensive to sustain. As ATMs start to get torn down, cash becomes harder to obtain. As cash becomes even harder to obtain, digital payment solutions become even more desirable, and cash less so.
The statistics are already proving this is happening. The report states:
“Statistics from LINK show some clear trends. LINK is the network which connects the UK’s cash machines and so enables universal access to people’s cash. The number of LINK ATM cash withdrawals for 2018 was down 5% compared to 2017. The total value of cash withdrawn fell slightly less, at 3.5%.”
The UK isn’t totally ready to make the jump to a world of cryptocurrency though. They found that 47% of society still finds physical fiat to be essential to their life, and found specifically that rural communities, the elderly, and the poor would be in trouble if cash was abandoned right now.
The report concludes that the UK must take steps to protect fiat to avoid harming those groups, and puts forward many recommendations of how to do so. It does not reference cryptocurrency as one of those options, except once as an alternative to anonymous methods to spend. It also goes on to provide recommendations of how to bank the unbanked, to avoid harming those groups once cash goes away.
That misses the entire point of cryptocurrency, and particularly Bitcoin SV (BSV). The report’s conclusions, that cash is in a death spiral in many societies, are completely acceptable. Their recommendation to put cash on indefinite life support, and to continue supporting the financial system that makes cash more expensive to use than what it’s worth, are absurd.
Bitcoin was born to be the world’s new money, and it can be the low-infrastructure replacement to fiat that the world is waiting for. All segments of society are quickly stepping into the digital world, and gaining access to digital basics like mobile phones. As BSV scales to the needs of the world, banking the unbanked will be as simple as getting everyone a HandCash or Centbee wallet.
The report’s final recommendations are a hodgepodge of ways to keep cash viable, and ways to regulate the coming future. Keeping cash viable for any longer than the free market deems necessary just doesn’t seem feasible however. What’s more important is getting businesses and users ready for the world’s new money, BSV.
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