Despite what this recent aditorial on Bloomberg would like you to think, cash is not for losers. In fact, cash is something that must, and will always exist.
The moment you have a purely digital, centralized and private money, the owner of the system, say a government or bank, can turn off your ability to engage in commerce.
Re-read: the owner of the system can turn off your ability to engage in commerce.
Imagine being unable to purchase basic necessities of life: water, food, shelter, or transportation. You’re trapped and left to die, or be a slave. Let’s think about this for a moment.
There is a war on cash. The reason being, banks aren’t fans of it. It’s hard, if not impossible to track. You need to hold it in vaults and unless you’re honest, governments can’t tax it. By eliminating cash, all purchases can (potentially) be tracked and taxed. Furthermore, as mentioned, users of it can be your slave.
Well, doesn’t digital money make sense, because paper money is so old school? Yes. But not in all forms. Privatized digital money means zero transparency, and the need for trusted parties. There is nothing to stop the wealthy owners from making more for themselves, thus degrading the value of other people’s holdings in the process. Additionally, it requires approval to join, and you lack anonymity.
What’s the alternative? Bitcoin (and cash).
Bitcoin is amazing, but it’s not yet perfect. It’s digital, scarce, pseudo-anonymous, transparent and most importantly – it’s decentralized. That means that not one central entity, such as a bank or government, can control it. The scarcity prevents the creation of more, ensuring the value of your coins stays intact over time. The decentralized network gives fair access, and prevents control of one party.
Bitcoin is not perfect. It requires a phone or laptop, and an internet connection (until it’s broadcast over radio and nodes in space). There are offline items like casascius coins, which I like. I once saw a man purchase a motorcycle in Paris with one. However, you’ll still need access to the internet, or the blockchain to verify the validity of tangible, offline coins. It’s definitely a step in the right direction, though.
I still love cash. It’s near universal, people understand what it is. It’s reliable, even when my phone dies. It does suffer from some of the effects of private money, as in the supply is easily manipulated. However, you can’t take it from me, unless by force, or by selling me a sweet product.
So, hold on to your cash. If people tell you cash is for losers, graciously offer to take theirs from them.