Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

IEEE Spectrum Digs Into the Future of Money

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the amazing-kreskin-says-inflation-continues dept.

The Almighty Buck 292

New submitter ArmageddonLord writes "Small, out-of-pocket cash exchanges are still the stuff of everyday life. In 2010, cash transactions in the United States totaled $1.2 trillion (not including extralegal ones, of course). There will come a day, however, when you'll be able to transfer funds just by holding your cellphone next to someone else's and hitting a few keys — and this is just one of the ways we'll wean ourselves off cash. In 'The Last Days of Cash,' a special report on the future of money, we describe the various ways that technology is transforming how we pay for stuff; how it's boosting security by linking our biometric selves with our accounts; and how it's helping us achieve, at least in theory, an ancient ideal — money that cannot be counterfeited."

cancel ×

292 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Freedom (5, Insightful)

XanC (644172) | more than 2 years ago | (#40167397)

An untraceable method of paying for things has disadvantages, yes, but also serious advantages in limiting the power of government to see and control everything we do...

Re:Freedom (1)

Failed Physicist (1411173) | more than 2 years ago | (#40167511)

But look at the benefits! No one will be able to counterfeit money (except the banks, of course)!

Re:Freedom (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40167601)

Banks cannot print money out of thin air and use it to pay off their debt. Only government can do that, because government makes the rules.

Re:Freedom (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40167839)

I'm not so sure about that.

Banks do some pretty hinky things.

Re:Freedom (2)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 2 years ago | (#40167841)

That is a lie, government is in the pockets of a few wealthy elite, the banking cartel foremost. They create injections of cash so they can skim, even though on the books the "money" is paid back.

Re:Freedom (4, Insightful)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 2 years ago | (#40168117)

MONEY IS DEBT

Don't be fooled by the tokens.

Re:Freedom (4, Informative)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 2 years ago | (#40168167)

yes, the fiat currency we are using instead of money are merely debt-notes designed to allow a few wealthy elite to confiscate and control real wealth. we should start using money again.

Re:Freedom (0, Flamebait)

egamma (572162) | more than 2 years ago | (#40168271)

yes, the fiat currency we are using instead of money are merely debt-notes designed to allow a few wealthy elite to confiscate and control real wealth. we should start using money again.

you mean, we should use shiny pieces of worthless metal? yeah, that's useful...

Paper money and 'valuable' metals are used as currency as a convenience. It would not be convenient for us to buy an iPhone by bartering them for 100,000 gallons of water, nor would it be easy for the electric company to pay their employees in electricity. Money makes the world go 'round, just stop being paranoid about it.

Re:Freedom (1)

pigiron (104729) | more than 2 years ago | (#40167887)

On the contrary, in our fractional reserve banking system that is *exactly* what banks do.

Re:Freedom (3, Insightful)

Bam_Thwok (2625953) | more than 2 years ago | (#40168371)

No it isn't. Every dollar of credit a bank extends creates a debit on their books as well. That's what lending is. Fractional reserve banking is a *limiter* on this activity, not a facilitator.

Re:Freedom (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40167961)

Not sure if you're aware of this, but US currency is currently printed by corporations - not the governemnt. And the Federal Reserve, is also not the government. Corporations and banks have already, usurped federalized powers.

What we learned? COPORATIONS make the rules - because the government legalizes whatever crime they want.

Re:Freedom (1)

Greenspark (2652053) | more than 2 years ago | (#40167979)

This is a bit incomplete. Even cash transactions of any consequence will have been registered somewhere.

Legally required in the USA (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#40168077)

Banks are required, by law, to report any cash transaction over a certain amount (several thousand dollars, if I remember correctly) to the DEA. Yes, the DEA, not the IRS as one might have expected.

Re:Legally required in the USA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40168259)

$3,000 requires a SAR (Suspicious Activity Report)
$10,000 triggers a SAR AND a report sent to the IRS
both of these numbers assume you haven't filled out an exception due to this being a regular occurrence. That exception is only good for one account per exception filed. This is as of 4 or 5 years ago, I'm sure there have been changes.

Re:Freedom (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40168013)

So well said in the way Government is going.

Uh (1, Insightful)

ExecutorElassus (1202245) | more than 2 years ago | (#40167419)

This timing of this report - how long ago was the BitCoin theft? a couple weeks? - seems a bit ill-planned.

Re:Uh (2)

Lumpio- (986581) | more than 2 years ago | (#40167499)

Has any of those BitCoin thefts occured because of vulnerabilities in BitCoin itself or because of unsecure 3rd party services? I doubt you'd go and say real money is insecure if a single bank somewhere got hacked.

Re:Uh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40167603)

There's been several large bitcoin thefts. Which one are you comparing the timing of this to?

The more important thing is that this elimination of any form hard cash creates the situation where none of your transactions will ever be private again. This goes beyond just saying that if you're doing nothing wrong you have nothing to hide. There are lots of very pleasant things that you might want to hide until the right moment.

For example, how do you surprise your wife with a nice birthday or anniversary present for the event next week when the transaction showing that you bought something last week at so-and-so jewelers appears on the monthly bank statement that she got this morning. (yes, i know. no guy every remembers such things and, if they do, they're more likely to buy the wife a new power tool but you should, if you have any imagination, see the point.)

Re:Uh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40168061)

BitCoin is useless except for buying drugs over the internet, so who cares.

Re:Uh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40168097)

People buying and selling drugs.

Not the end of cash. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40167465)

Cash dropped when credit and debit cards became widely available and accepted. People who use cash now aren't going to stop because of some other gadget. Card use will drop (maybe; probably). You're not going to wave your cellphone over a stripper.

Re:Not the end of cash. (3, Funny)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 2 years ago | (#40167625)

You're not going to wave your cellphone over a stripper.

You are if you're using four square to me mayor of that stripper ;-) The fun is finder her QR code.

Re:Not the end of cash. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40167779)

Because she has no reader?

Re:Not the end of cash. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40167831)

Because she has no reader?

Tail swipe!

Re:Not the end of cash. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40167913)

Eh, we can already make pretty damn small RFID readers, and strippers already need some place to hold cash (g-string at topless bars, garters at all nude). If and when RFID payment becomes ubiquitous, I would imagine it won't be too long before we see payment processing undergarments.

Cash is making a comeback (5, Interesting)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | more than 2 years ago | (#40167503)

A lot of people are starting to pay in cash again simply to get out from under the oppressive thumb of the credit card cartel. It also helps with budgetary discipline, which is why guys like Dave Ramsey [daveramsey.com] are preaching it to the people.

Re:Cash is making a comeback (3, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#40167737)

Does it pay 1% back yet?

I love taking advantage of credit card companies. Free 28 day loans and 1% back are great. I never buy anything on the card that I could not write a check for anyway, so I don't pay interest. I used to go to a mechanic that offered 2% off if you payed cash, so I did there.

Many people like me are too used to getting either a discount or free short term loans to go back to using only cash.

Re:Cash is making a comeback (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40167871)

So you continue to trust your bank to not screw you by crediting your credit card payment late? We've seen BoA pull that stunt to charge us interest. You're either lucky or naive.

Re:Cash is making a comeback (2)

Jeng (926980) | more than 2 years ago | (#40167931)

Some people are smart enough not to use BoA.

The credit union I use kicks ass.

Re:Cash is making a comeback (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#40167969)

I pay far in advance of the due date. I pay it off each week.

So even if they did credit me late they would have to be 3 weeks late. I am not lucky nor naive, just very cautious.

Re:Cash is making a comeback (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 2 years ago | (#40167881)

until you get that notice in the mail that starting in x months, your card will carry an annual fee of y dollars

Re:Cash is making a comeback (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#40168031)

Then I cancel it and move to another.
Credit card companies need some percent of their clients to pay off the loans, to raise the value of the debt they hold and sell. I fill that role.

Re:Cash is making a comeback (1)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | more than 2 years ago | (#40167897)

Does it pay 1% back yet?

I love taking advantage of credit card companies. Free 28 day loans and 1% back are great. I never buy anything on the card that I could not write a check for anyway, so I don't pay interest. I used to go to a mechanic that offered 2% off if you payed cash, so I did there.

Many people like me are too used to getting either a discount or free short term loans to go back to using only cash.

Trust me, the credit card companies aren't giving you that incentive just to be nice. Eventually, most people slip up. They miss a payment and then they're paying the default rate, usually 29.9%, plus late fees, etc., which more than makes up for the 1% they were paying out. Perhaps you're the exception.

Re:Cash is making a comeback (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#40167989)

I pay it off each week.

These people are not slipping up, they are spending money they do not have. Even if I maxed out my credit, my savings more than covers it. That is intentional.

Re:Cash is making a comeback (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#40168219)

That works unless your credit card company allows no more than two ACH payments per month. I seem to remember some Discover cards issued by GE Capital having that restriction.

Re:Cash is making a comeback (2)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 2 years ago | (#40168213)

You're using it wrong, and you're using the wrong one.

I've been late once or twice in the past 10 years. They have always credited back the interest and fees when I called. They give you that 1% because they're getting 2.5-3% from the merchant (which you're paying though markup, but they're not giving cash discounts, so...).

I've decided that a lot of card companies much really suck. Chase, otoh, has been exceptionally accommodating for me. Questionable charge? It's gone in 24 hours and they take it up with the merchant. I even filed a CDW loss on a rental car once (dented a plastic bumper on a rental Jeep - you'd think they would be more durable) - sent in the paper work, got call to confirm the information, and 30 days later got a claim report and $0 balance from the rental company.

I'm not a huge client either - maybe $10k/yr ($20k if we're really flush). I've never had an annual fee.

Re:Cash is making a comeback (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40168081)

To get that 1% cash back, the company you bought stuff from increased the coast by 3% to cover the credit card fees.

Re:Cash is making a comeback (1)

DanTheStone (1212500) | more than 2 years ago | (#40168215)

Essentially a prisoner's dilemma. You aren't going to convince everyone in the country to lose their 1% in the hope that the merchants will drop their prices.

Re:Cash is making a comeback (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#40168285)

What does that have to do with it?

I can either get 1% back and be out 2% or pay cash and be out the whole 3%.

Re:Cash is making a comeback (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40168383)

His point is actually totally bogus: handling cash is not free, it is expensive. The fact that companies do not offer lower prices to people who pay with cash indicates that the 3% or whatever the credit card companies charge is actually very close to the cost of handling money. Not having to deal with cash is a good thing for merchants.

Re:Cash is making a comeback (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40168299)

Vendors pay more for credit-card services, and then the credit-card company is nice enough to give you back 1% as your piece of the action for forcing the vendor to use a credit-card transaction instead of regular cash.

Unfortunately, any savings are probably an illusion, because the increased costs for the vendor to support credit cards are inevitably passed on to the consumer one way or another, and then reflected in the prices for everybody. So, you are probably getting "1% back" on a higher price than it would be otherwise. If it's a vendor I like, then I'll use cash or at least debit card, because it's more money in their pocket and less for the credit-card company cartel.

It takes more than a 1% saving to convince me to support a relationship that is so obviously predatory.

Re:Cash is making a comeback (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40167893)

Did you know that using cash for all your transactions can be considered an attempt to maintain your privacy to the point where you can be considered a terrorist? It's part of the new FBI "Help the FBI Identify your local terrorist" campaign.

We've just caught one of our new terrorist leaders if this fellow is pushing for people to use cash instead of good old fashioned traceable debit and credit card transaction.

Buying anything online (2)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#40168283)

A lot of people are starting to pay in cash again simply to get out from under the oppressive thumb of the credit card cartel.

But you still need to get under the oppressive thumb of the debit card cartel if you ever want to buy anything online as of the present.

Dave Ramsey

There are a few places where I disagree with his advice. For one thing, he advises never to go into debt on a car but instead to buy a beater car. The trouble with a beater is that it is likely to require so much costly repair that going into debt for a certified pre-owned car becomes worth it. For another, if one never goes into debt, then how is one supposed to afford a place to live? And if a mortgage is the only exception, how is one supposed to qualify for a mortgage with no recent credit history?

Re:Buying anything online (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#40168367)

How does going into debt make it worth it over a cheap car?

What are the numbers here?
I see good cars with no repair needed right away for $5k. I plan to buy a house in cash eventually, I will rent a tiny place until then. I might just continue to rent the tiny place though, probably cheaper than the taxes on a house anyway.

What could possibly go wrong? (5, Insightful)

a-zarkon! (1030790) | more than 2 years ago | (#40167539)

Using a service-provider configured, jail-breakable device for financial transactions... Malware is already an issue on smart phones. Also, I guarantee that this "service" is not free. Everyone involved in the transaction is going to charge something. 3% to ATT or Verizon, 3% to the payer's bank, 3% to the recipient's bank, probably another 3% to some service provider/clearing house vendor, plus complete gov't visibility which means that all taxes are guaranteed to be charged. Yes, this may be simplified to the point where it's as easy as pulling $1.00 bill out of your pocket to buy your gum, but that $1.00 item is going to double in price to cover all the incidental charges. Call me a luddite, but I'm perfectly happy to stick with cash.

Re:What could possibly go wrong? (1)

boristdog (133725) | more than 2 years ago | (#40167883)

You forgot the 30% that goes to Apple for all Iphone transactions.

And since there will be no-lower-price payment contracts for firms who want to get the Iphone owner's business, all prices will have to increase by 30%.

Re:What could possibly go wrong? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40168093)

Cash transactions aren't without overhead either. You need to count the cash, securely store it, securely move it to your bank, deal with counterfeiting losses, etc. This adds up.

Re:What could possibly go wrong? (2)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 2 years ago | (#40168345)

Call me a luddite, but I'm perfectly happy to stick with cash.

You're not a luddite. I try explaining the need for cash to my geek friends, but they're mystified about why anyone would want to keep something in "analog land". But basically, every system has slippage, whether it's a packet-switched network, or landing airplanes on aircraft carriers. Traffic engineers have found that, for example, if 3% of the vehicles on the road break the law by speeding or aggressive driving, it stops standing waves of vehicles forming near egress points, and actually improves the entire system's reliability. In most systems, you will find that if you increase tolerances too much, the system, engine, or component, becomes much less reliable and efficient.

Economic systems are no different. Governments will always be pushing for a perfect 1:1 parity between actions and identities, because the goal of government is perfect order, which means everything following formal rules, with 100% compliance. And should they ever even come within spitting distance of achieving this, they will have made themselves obsolete compared to other countries. We're already seeing what this kind of economic "hardening" does: Moving everything to electronic payment means that prices can jump wildly; The stock market is currently controlled by systems that make buy/sell decisions in fractions of a millisecond, and when the algorithms in those systems homogenized, we watched billions of dollars vaporize. Homogeny in economic systems (information systems too) has the same effect as it does in biological systems: It makes them vulnerable to disease.

But regardless, whatever transactional system you use, letting the provider take a percentage rather than a fixed cost is criminally stupid. Any high volume transaction system can process a single transaction for fractions of a penny; And that cost includes equipment maintenance, replacement, and the labor to carry out said tasks. You're paying 3% of your net income for the convenience of handing vendors a piece of plastic instead of a piece of paper... over the course of a year, that'll add up to around, what, $850 for a person making median income? Think of what an extra $850 a year could do for you. Then realize that it's not: It's working for someone else because you're a lazy ass. I'm sorry, but my "luddite-ness" gives me an $850 'convenience tax' credit at the end of the year; If I invest that, it'll pay for my retirement. So you know what, I'm thinking... "Cash: It gets me Everywhere I Want To Be". As opposed to Visa, which is everywhere I want to be, waiting, like a serpent, to stick its fangs in my wallet.

old lady factor (2)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | more than 2 years ago | (#40167549)

We often forget about the old lady factor...

Cash and checks are not going to go away any time soon. We're going to have to endure the rest of our lives with the old lady filling out the check in front of us. It's probably best to talk about half lives. It will take entire lifetimes for their use to stop and they will still be used. Or the government will phase them out and people will bitch.

Re:old lady factor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40167721)

Cash and checks are not going to go away any time soon. We're going to have to endure the rest of our lives with the old lady filling out the check in front of us.

Hello American, welcome to THE REST OF THE ENTIRE WORLD.

Re:old lady factor (2)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 2 years ago | (#40167905)

wrong, most countries still use currency in addition to electronic money. in fact, most of the places I've been the U.S. dollar is preferred over local currency.

Re:old lady factor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40168163)

The other day I was stuck in the grocery line behind a lady writing a check. Then I realized it was the first time I'd seen someone do this in about 10 years. Maybe its different in backwater parts of the country, I dunno.

Re:old lady factor (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#40167781)

Can we at least all agree that checks should be banned in the express lane? Coupons too.

Re:old lady factor (1)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | more than 2 years ago | (#40167985)

Oh I'd agree. Most people on slashdot would agree. But the old lady will bitch and it won't happen.

Re:old lady factor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40168135)

The store refuses to ban checks in the express lane, but it's the old lady's fault. The bigotry is strong here.

Maybe not counterfeited... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40167551)

...but able to be hacked might be worse. Look at the recent BitCoin incidents.

Cash can be electronic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40167585)

Electronic money can be untraceable like cash but you have to demand it.

Re:Cash can be electronic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40167769)

Electronic money can be untraceable like cash but you have to demand it.

Only a terrorist would do something like that... you're not a terrorist, now, are you Citizen?

Do you have your papers?

Signed,
Big Brother

Re:Cash can be electronic (1)

a_fuzzyduck (979684) | more than 2 years ago | (#40167861)

yes, as a matter of fact I am a terrorist. What is it to you :)

Re:Cash can be electronic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40167813)

no it can't

not until taxes go down (1)

alen (225700) | more than 2 years ago | (#40167611)

almost all people with cash businesses do it for the tax benefits. accepting traceable payments mean they just increased their costs

its happening slowly but only because physical purchases like magazines at news stands are going digital and cash businesses are going out of business for lack of things to sell

Re:not until taxes go down (1)

The Mister Purple (2525152) | more than 2 years ago | (#40167771)

It's not only taxes: credit/debit card processors take their cut, too.

Re:not until taxes go down (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#40168347)

which is passed on to the consumer.

Re:not until taxes go down (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#40168335)

oh noes, I'm so worried for the people operating illegally.

namecoin & bitcoin. (2)

Janek Kozicki (722688) | more than 2 years ago | (#40167617)

So it's another article about bitcoin. Well I just wonder how this will turn out. So far it didn't die.

And I wonder if namecoin will come useful after IPv6 will be used widely. Heh, will IPv6 be used? We hope so. How would you DNS such a giant IP space? Maybe namecoin will come more handy that usual means...

Limits who can counterfeit - Fixed that for ya. (0)

trout007 (975317) | more than 2 years ago | (#40167627)

What they mean to say is that only official counterfeiters like the Federal Reserve can create new money.

The ancient ideal was realized centuries ago when precious metals were used as money. It was difficult to counterfeit. So much so that even kings and governments had to pass legal tender laws to force their subjects to accept the clipped, debased, or otherwise devalued coins.

Re:Limits who can counterfeit - Fixed that for ya. (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#40167849)

Precious metals are not the ideal either. If your neighbor finds a huge new mine, your savings can lose half their value over night. No one wants that. If I find a new use for that metal, your savings might double over night. No one in their right mind wants that either, for anyone but themselves.

Re:Limits who can counterfeit - Fixed that for ya. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40168033)

Precious metals are not the ideal either. If your neighbor finds a huge new mine, your savings can lose half their value over night. No one wants that. If I find a new use for that metal, your savings might double over night. No one in their right mind wants that either, for anyone but themselves.

Eerr, how exactly is the value of gold going to halve because of new discoveries? Do you have any idea how much has been mined already and that production has pretty much peaked?

Re:Limits who can counterfeit - Fixed that for ya. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40168125)

You do realize that we can synthesize gold, right? It's not cost-effective right now, but it's been done. Having a whole CPU on one integrated circuit was "possible but not cost effective" for a few decades too.

Re:Limits who can counterfeit - Fixed that for ya. (1)

Jeng (926980) | more than 2 years ago | (#40168189)

Do you have any idea how much has been mined already and that production has pretty much peaked?

Probably not nearly as much as you think.

http://money.howstuffworks.com/question213.htm [howstuffworks.com]

Figuring out the total amount of gold that has been produced by man is a little harder. To get at some kind of estimate, let's figure that the world has been producing gold at 50 million ounces a year for 200 years. That number is probably a little high, but when you figure that the Aztecs and the Egyptians produced a fair amount of gold for a long time, it's probably not too far off. Fifty million ounces * 200 years = 10 billion ounces. Ten billion ounces of gold would fit into a cube roughly 25 meters (about 82 feet) on a side. Consider that the Washington Monument measures 55 feet by 55 feet at its base and is 555 feet tall (17 x 17 x 170 m). That means that if you could somehow gather every scrap of gold that man has ever mined into one place, you could only build about one-third of the Washington Monument.

Re:Limits who can counterfeit - Fixed that for ya. (0)

flaming error (1041742) | more than 2 years ago | (#40168069)

"If your neighbor finds a huge new mine, your savings can lose half their value over night"

Yes, if overnight they manage to extract and refine an amount of ore equal to all the metal that's currently in circulation.

In practice, I think the precious metal supply is more stable than either the supply of dollars or bitcoins.

Re:Limits who can counterfeit - Fixed that for ya. (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#40168229)

Metal prices do not require it to be extracted or refined, just new supplies found to have some impact. I was indeed exaggerating, but the point is disconnecting the money supply from the economy is not without any drawbacks.

Re:Limits who can counterfeit - Fixed that for ya. (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#40168317)

It is, but it wouldn't be if currency was tied to it.
There is a reason we left the gilded cage.

Replace 'neighbor' in his example with 'country'.

Scope of circulation (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#40168331)

Yes, if overnight they manage to extract and refine an amount of ore equal to all the metal that's currently in circulation.

All metal in circulation globally or just locally?

Re:Limits who can counterfeit - Fixed that for ya. (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#40167891)

The ancient ideal was realized centuries ago when precious metals were used as money. It was difficult to counterfeit.

It was also difficult to scale to a growing population. Which is exactly the reason we stopped relying on weights of metals as a currency.

Re:Limits who can counterfeit - Fixed that for ya. (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 2 years ago | (#40167995)

and, more importantly, only people approved by the state will be allowed to possess or use money. your ability to buy will be totally under control of the state. moreover, the banking cartel ( will find ways to get a "piece of the action" for every transactions, more ways to parasites to skim.

Re:Limits who can counterfeit - Fixed that for ya. (1)

alen (225700) | more than 2 years ago | (#40168091)

so if the world ends like the global warming nuts believe it will what are you going to do with your shiny yellow metal?

can you eat it? NO
can you make weapons out of it? NO

if i have a big pile of food to live on, why would i trade it for your shiny yellow metal?

Re:Limits who can counterfeit - Fixed that for ya. (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#40168281)

"official counterfeiters"
oxymoron. Someone legal appointed to 'print money' is, by definition, not a counterfeiter.

I know you love these stories as a chance to show off how ignorant you are by making nonsense statement about the Federal Reserve. really, it's time for you to grow up.

"The Road Ahead" is HOW OLD?? (1)

RobertLTux (260313) | more than 2 years ago | (#40167639)

this has been "coming soon" for ages now and is unlikely to succeed.

1 Not EVERYBODY has a SmartPhone
2 Carriers treat this kind of thing as a MUST BE OUR VERSION thing
3 and want to get a cut of every transaction somehow (i would bet by at least making the info into a 8 step 50Kbyte per step process)
4 you need some way of transfering funds to UnKnown (and UnRecorded) persons (yeah i know anti-terror/anti-moneylaundering regs are a good thing but im talking about $50 range stuff and lower)

So what you would need to do is have The Phone Companies provide a basic FREE phone and then convince both Visa and MasterCard to agree and then sign off on a single solution (which they could ReBrand but...).

NOT GOING TO HAPPEN

"Money that cannot be counterfeited" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40167643)

Har. What, like VISA [msn.com] and other credit cards [wikipedia.org] , debit cards [www.cbc.ca] , and Bitcoin?

The best they can do is lower the fraud rates. But "cannot be counterfeited" is probably an impossible standard.

These are all fine and interesting. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40167667)

The trouble with electronic transfers is when there's a mistake or fraud. For example, with debit cards, I see all too often folks get ripped off or some business over charging the person's account. While the victim is disputing the charges (the bank has 14 days to investigate), their account is being hit with withdraws of money like mortgages and whatnot. So while the bank is investigating, that same bank is hitting up the victim with overdraft fees and penalties. And since there wasn't enough money in the account to cover the mortgage, the mortgage company is also charging late fees and penalties long with every one else who the victim set up to automatically pay.

Usually the bank clears it up or if it's an accidental overcharge, the business who did it backs out the transaction and gives the person their money back.

Now all those penalties, fees and damage to the victim's credit rating because of a missed mortgage payment?

Bank, "Not our problem."

Business who over charged account, "Not our problem."

Basically you have to file a complaint with the OCC, sue the merchant and hope for the best.

And we all know about the bullshit with PayPal.

So until there are more protections for the consumer, electronic payments are a no go for me.

So (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40167677)

So does this mean that I'll beable to pay on my Credit Card with me Credit Card?

People need cash for their drugs (1)

Kingofearth (845396) | more than 2 years ago | (#40167707)

As long as illegal drugs remain a multi-billion dollar market, cash isn't going anywhere. Besides, think about what cash really is. It's just the most liquid monetary vehicle available due to government decree that everyone accept it. If the government were to do away with cash there will still be other highly liquid goods for people to trade with similar efficacy as cash.

Re:People need cash for their drugs (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 2 years ago | (#40168275)

And who wants to stick their smart phone in some strippers ass crack?

Okay, don't answer that (I know...rule 34).

Convenient (1)

Empiric (675968) | more than 2 years ago | (#40167731)

As the ieee.org link suggests, and even helpfully illustrates, I agree your right hand would be optimally convenient for our "Biometric Wallet", to enabl^H^H^H^H^Hsimplify all buying and selling.

Or maybe your forehead, so you have a second alternative so you know you're free to choose your personal preferences.

Oh wait.

Specie (1)

pigiron (104729) | more than 2 years ago | (#40167757)

We will soon be returning to various forms of specie as currency and sooner than you think.

Funny I just saw it demoed in Bangalore. (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 2 years ago | (#40167761)

I saw a demo in bangalore. You run an app in your android phone, and create a barcode to give out a small sum, small as in 1 rupee ~= 2 cents. The other guy has the same app that reads the bar code. Money gets transferred from one bank account to another.

Re:Funny I just saw it demoed in Bangalore. (1)

a_fuzzyduck (979684) | more than 2 years ago | (#40167945)

and also from one bank account to some provider or other. but only for goods and services approved by the provider

Barter System (3, Informative)

ciderbrew (1860166) | more than 2 years ago | (#40167783)

You know the Barter System is still a good way to do some business and non taxable :) Example - A friend did his plumbers website for a small bathroom installation.

Anonimity? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40167797)

How about anonimity? All of these changes seem to tie my money to my person. One of the good features of current cash money is that it is anonymous (in general).

Am I supposed to take this seriously... (1)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 2 years ago | (#40167801)

.... when they can even create a web page that formats properly on Firefox?

Anyway , people have been predicting this since credit cards came along. Hasn't happened yet - its just a wet dream of various financial organisations so they can get that small fee everytime we use their device to pay and so they can track us. They don't like cash because in normal day to day life its untraceable.

And all transactions can be tracked... (3, Insightful)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | more than 2 years ago | (#40167805)

How cute! I mean, who *doesn't* want their every financial transaction tracked and analyzed by the government and a few thousand corporations trying to sell you something. And of course, technology is so reliable! I'd trust my every dollar to that bastion of security, the cell phone. I mean, who wouldn't!

Excuse me, I have to go mop up some of that sarcasm that's been dripping all over the floor from somewhere.

Re:And all transactions can be tracked... (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#40168247)

You does care? what do you care if some analyzes you purchases? It just means better data on what consumers are buys. When talking about ads, the ads that will be presented to you will be more likely to be relevant.

This has been implemented pretty damn successfully in Japan.

I also not you don't compare you 'disadvantages' to the pros.
someone steal your cash, too bad, so sad. Some steals you phone, you make a call and the phone is no longer able to access your account. And it will be likely that if the do manage to figure out your pin* and spend money, you will no be obligated for those purchase, like credit card fraud.

*Lets face it, if they are pointing a gun at you your going to tell them your pin. It is good against people who just snatch an unattended phone, to pick pocket it.

Analogous to voting (1)

fa2k (881632) | more than 2 years ago | (#40167833)

Cash is like the paper ballot -- it has some advantages that are very difficult to replicate with high tech. The advantages are in fact due to the simplicity and inefficiency of the system. The good thing is that with money, people can individually make the decision about when to switch

And if you stand up for your rights ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40167855)

or do anything else the government doesn't like, you'll suddenly discover that, although you're not broke,
you may as well be because you'll no longer be able to pay for anything :-(

fees, data cost, areas with poor signal, skimmers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40167863)

fees, data cost, areas with poor signal, skimmers will have to be worked out and do want pay up to $0.0195/KB just for the data and no you can't use that local sim if you want use your cash.

There will always be cash (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40167937)

because cash pays for pussy. But you slashtards here wouldn't know about that.

"Smart" money = Dumb Idea. (1)

sycodon (149926) | more than 2 years ago | (#40167987)

Smart money will undoubtedly become too smart by half. Exploits, hacking, etc. etc.

Cash is king.

ha (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#40168127)

"money that cannot be counterfeited."

lulz. Yeah, no one will figure out a way to copy bits, are attack a verification process.

Personally I can't wait to not carry cash. OTOH, this will cause retailer to incur an additional cost. And the default of 'you need to pay a fee to make a transaction' annoys me.

Maybe if you could charge retailers a fee to use the system, and it was controlled by the Federal reserve we would solve that problem.

just curious about panhandler dilemma (1)

yagu (721525) | more than 2 years ago | (#40168261)

Does this mean panhandlers now need cell phones?
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?