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Apr 30, 2020
A growing number of businesses and individuals worldwide have stopped using banknotes in fear that physical currency, handled by tens of thousands of people over its lifetime, could be a vector for the coronavirus.
Public officials and health experts have said the risk of transferring the virus person-to-person throughbut they don't rule it out.
While it is of course eminently sensible to avoid every possible source of Covid 19 contamination, the consequences of a cashless society inevitably hit hard the credit-poor, those who can least afford it.
'And the cashless society', says Brett Scott, is a euphemism for the "ask-your-banks-for-permission-to-pay society".
Rather than an exchange occurring directly between the hotel and me, it takes the form of a "have your people talk to my people" affair. Various intermediaries message one another to arrange an exchange between our respective banks.
That may be a convenient option, but in a cashless society it would no longer be an option at all. You'd have no choice but to conform to the intermediaries' automated bureaucracy, giving them a lot of power, and a lot of data about the micro-texture of your economic life.