When I talk about the war on cash and a cashless society, some people think I’m exaggerating the threat or they don’t take it seriously.
But I’m not exaggerating the threat. It’s here, it’s growing and it’ll only get worse. Today I’ll show you the latest example.
The proponents of the cashless society cite convenience as a major benefit. Why bother having to tote a bunch of cumbersome cash and coins around when you can just swipe a card or pay with your smartphone?
Besides, they say, cash enables criminal activity on the black market. Cash is the money of crime. And in some respects, they’re right.
Swiping a card or scanning your smartphone is certainly easier than having to get cash from a bank or ATM and lugging it around in your wallet, dealing with change, etc.
If you eliminated cash and replaced it with digital money, it would impact the black market (though they’d figure out a workaround).
Meanwhile, cash is costlier to produce than digital money and unlike with cash, you don’t need to hire a Brinks truck to move digital money around. No more bank robberies! And all those truck drivers and security guards can now learn to code!
You get the point. And that’s why the war on cash has been so successful. Digital money is simply more convenient to use than cash.
And the surest way to lull someone into complacency is to offer a “convenience” that quickly becomes habit and impossible to do without.
The Digital Cattle Pen
But here’s what they won’t tell you, as I’ve warned time after time: You’re being herded into what I call a “digital cattle pen” from which there’s no escape.
The fact is, governments always use money laundering, drug dealing and terrorism as excuses to keep tabs on honest citizens and deprive them of the ability to use money alternatives such as physical cash, gold and, these days, cryptocurrencies.
The real burden of the war on cash falls on honest citizens who are made vulnerable to wealth confiscation through negative interest rates, loss of privacy, account freezes and limits on cash withdrawals or transfers.
In reality, the so-called “cashless society” is just a Trojan horse for a system in which all financial wealth is electronic and represented digitally in the records of a small number of megabanks and asset managers.
Once that is achieved, it will be easy for state power to seize and freeze the wealth, or subject it to constant surveillance, taxation and other forms of digital confiscation like negative interest rates.
They can’t do that as long as you can go to your bank and withdraw your cash. That’s the key. Cash prevents central banks from imposing negative interest rates because if they did, people would withdraw their cash from the banking system.
If they stuff their cash in a mattress, they don’t earn anything on it; that’s true. But at least they’re not losing anything on it. Once all money is digital, you won’t have the option of withdrawing your cash and avoiding negative rates. You will be trapped in a digital pen with no way out.
In other words, it’s much easier for them to control your money if they first herd you into a digital cattle pen. That’s their true objective and all the other reasons are just a smoke screen.
Again, that’s the part they won’t tell you.
The good news is that cash is still a dominant form of payment in many countries including the U.S. The bad news is that as digital payments grow and the use of cash diminishes, a “tipping point” is reached where suddenly it makes no sense to continue using cash because of the expense and logistics involved.
Once cash usage shrinks to a certain point, economies of scale are lost and usage can go to zero almost overnight. Remember how music CDs disappeared suddenly once MP3 and streaming formats became popular?
That’s how fast cash can disappear.
Once the war on cash gains that kind of momentum, and we’re really not that far from it, it will be practically impossible to stop.
Biden Bucks: the Trojan Horse
My regular readers are well-versed in the technical features and dangers of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), which I call Biden Bucks.
CBDCs are a form of money issued by central banks or the Treasury in digital-only form. It’s true that most payments today — credit cards, direct deposit, ATMs, online shopping, etc. — are already digital.
But there’s a difference.
All the digital payments we have today are private. They’re between you and your bank or the online store. The government does not see that information at the individual level unless they get a warrant. That’s not true for CBDCs.
With CBDCs, the government controls the ledger. They see everything you buy, your charitable contributions, your political donations, your entertainment choices, your travel and more.
When that information is combined with geospatial location (from the GPS data on your iPhone, E-ZPass toll transmitters and license plate scanners) and analyzed by artificial intelligence applications, it’s easy to develop a political profile of you.
Based on that profile, the government can decide you’re an “enemy of the people” or a “MAGA extremist” as Biden threatened in his infamous Philadelphia speech in September 2022 (the one with the military guards and blood-red lighting that visually resembled the Nuremberg rallies of the Nazi Party in the 1930s).
Once you’re on the enemies list, CBDCs can be used to freeze your bank accounts. This happened to the Freedom Convoy drivers in Canada in January 2022. It can easily happen here.
Some Americans have been relieved that CBDCs have not been fully implemented yet and members of Congress and some governors such as Ron DeSantis have stood up against them. That’s true.
“It’s Not Coming; It’s Already Here”
But the authoritarians never take no for an answer. When you close one channel, they find another. Here’s an example…
Citibank (which is entirely under the government’s thumb because of the many bailouts it has received) has announced what they call Citi Token Services (CTS).
With CTS, you convert your regular dollars into digital tokens. These tokens can be used to move money or make payments around the world. Citi calls this a “tokenized deposit.”
Notice the term “CBDC” is not used anywhere. But that’s what it is. Once you convert your dollars to digital tokens, you don’t have dollars anymore. Citi controls the ledger under the government’s thumb. They have complete information on all transactions.
This is a CBDC by another name. It’s not coming; it’s already here.
The time to protect yourself is yesterday — and if not yesterday, then today. The best way is to keep a portion of your wealth outside of the banking system.
That’s why I urge you to keep some of your liquidity in physical gold and silver.