So It Begins: Bloomberg Op-Ed Calls For An End Of Cash

Tyler Durden's picture

In a moment of curious serendipity, a little over 90 minutes after we showed what a dystopian, centrally-planned, cashless society unleashed in a negative interest rate world would look like ("by forcing people and companies to convert their paper money into bank deposits, the hope is that they can be persuaded (coerced?) to spend that money rather than save it because those deposits will carry considerable costs"), and briefly after we laid out the countless recent warnings from "very serious people" that cash is evil and should be banned:

... while warning to await a full-on coopted media assault about the dangers of cash "which is an anacrhonysm from a bygone era, and that the world will be so much better if only everyone dutifully exchanges the physical currency in their pocket for digital, traceable, and deletable 1s and 0s", none other than Bloomberg issued an editorial Op-Ed in which it had one simple message: "Bring On the Cashless Future."

For those who were amused by our warning that a cashless world may be coming, here is precisely why the warning was issued, in Bloomberg's digital ink:

Bring On the Cashless Future


Cash had a pretty good run for 4,000 years or so. These days, though, notes and coins increasingly seem declasse: They're dirty and dangerous, unwieldy and expensive, antiquated and so very analog.


Sensing this dissatisfaction, entrepreneurs have introduced hundreds of digital currencies in the past few years, of which bitcoin is only the most famous. Now governments want in: The People's Bank of China says it intends to issue a digital currency of its own. Central banks in Ecuador, the Philippines, the U.K. and Canada are mulling similar ideas. At least one company has sprung up to help them along.


Much depends on the details, of course. But this is a welcome trend. In theory, digital legal tender could combine the inventiveness of private virtual currencies with the stability of a government mint.


Most obviously, such a system would make moving money easier. Properly designed, a digital fiat currency could move seamlessly across otherwise incompatible payment networks, making transactions faster and cheaper. It would be of particular use to the poor, who could pay bills or accept payments online without need of a bank account, or make remittances without getting gouged.


For governments and their taxpayers, potential advantages abound. Issuing digital currency would be cheaper than printing bills and minting coins. It could improve statistical indicators, such as inflation and gross domestic product. Traceable transactions could help inhibit terrorist financing, money laundering, fraud, tax evasion and corruption.


The most far-reaching effect might be on monetary policy. For much of the past decade, central banks in the rich world have been hampered by what economists call the zero lower bound, or the inability to impose significantly negative interest rates. Persistent low demand and high unemployment may sometimes require interest rates to be pushed below zero -- but why keep money in a deposit whose value keeps shrinking when you can hold cash instead? With rates near zero, that conundrum has led policy makers to novel and unpredictable methods of stimulating the economy, such as large-scale bond-buying.


A digital legal tender could resolve this problem. Suppose the central bank charged the banks that deal with it a fee for accepting paper currency. In that way, it could set an exchange rate between electronic and paper money -- and by raising the fee, it would cause paper money to depreciate against the electronic standard. This would eliminate the incentive to hold cash rather than digital money, allowing the central bank to push the interest rate below zero and thereby boost consumption and investment. It would be a big step toward doing without cash altogether.


Digital legal tender isn't without risk. A policy that drives down the value of paper money would meet political resistance and -- to put it mildly -- would require some explaining. It could hold back private innovation in digital currencies. Security will be an abiding concern. Non-cash payments also tend to exacerbate the human propensity to overspend. And you don't have to be paranoid to worry about Big Brother tracking your financial life.


Governments must be alert to these problems -- because the key to getting people to adopt such a system is trust. A rule that a person's transaction history could be accessed only with a court order, for instance, might alleviate privacy concerns.


Harmonizing international regulations could encourage companies to keep experimenting. And an effective campaign to explain the new tender would be indispensable.


If policy makers are wise and attend to all that, they just might convince the public of a surprising truth about cash: They're better off without it.


To contact the senior editor responsible for Bloomberg View’s editorials: David Shipley at

And so it begins. It will most certainly not end there.

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Soul Glow's picture

NIRP + cash ban is a banksters wet dream.

BullyBearish's picture

Cash ban + gun ban = Bloomturd's crowning

SuperRay's picture

Mike will issue an executive order after he's elected president.

Normalcy Bias's picture

Can you imagine the Nanny State under that fuck?

I'm thinking mandatory diet restrictions and morning calisthenics for starters...

Pinto Currency's picture




Global debt is 340% of gobal GDP and is collapsing.

Most bank assets are in the form of loans and bonds.

Banks hold 1.5% of deposit accounts in cash.

Nobody is allowed out alive from the banking system.

Gaius Frakkin' Baltar's picture

The cashless push is an act of desperation, more than a well thought out strategy for enslavement. They may be able to push millions into it, but it will increase hatred of the banks tenfold and hasten the finale.

Captain Debtcrash's picture

Wow Bloomberg and Zerohedge are a bit late, I predicted the E Dollar Fed issued cryptocurrency for a couple years now. Just last night updated with all of the central banks that are investigating the idea.

So much for being first.

Durrmockracy's picture

This is great!  It will pit the Ph.D economists against decentralized P2P computing and state-backed digital currency against stateless digital currency.

The stateless currency will win this war.

Captain Debtcrash's picture

Gold and silver didn't win, at least as the medium of exchange in the past several generations.  Store of value sure, but that's not winning.


Durrmockracy's picture

Yeah well that's because it's obviously easier to use a CC or debit card in most transactions instead of gold.  Especially e-commerce for obvious reasons.  When your opponent adopts fighter jets, you don't bring out the biplanes to fight them.  This is where cryptocurrencies will shine and absolutely destroy the state!

Laowei Gweilo's picture

end of cash would probably actually help real physical storage of wealth


cash gives people the illusion of physical wealth... if you saw the end of cash and a complete digital currency, I bet you'd see more ownership of physical gold or whatever other item was deemed a physical alternative

Keyser's picture

Fucking elite morons... So they propose a zero-cash environment for trade in the lower Amazon basin, the street markets in Bangkok, to take a taxi in Lagos, to pay for a meal in Mumbai or to buy a few liters of deisel fuel on Mindinao... Great plan guys, almost as good as the fractional reserve banking system and fiat currency..  

Vendetta's picture

bankers want to kill all the homeless people too.  The homeless will never get a bank account or, if they did, won't be able suitably access money when they had it.   Bankers calling for this are despicable

redpill's picture

I have a better idea you crazy megalomaniacal assholes, how about you all go fuck yourselves.

StackShinyStuff's picture

I think David Shipley needs to be knee-capped.  You think organized crime will take this shit lightly?  Drug cartels?  Never gonna happen.

Supernova Born's picture

EMP is the knee-capping the banksters deserve.

Durrmockracy's picture

Zerobrains seem unable to fathom why credit cards and debit cards, mobile phone apps rose to prominince in the first place.  Because they have better transactional utility than physical silver and gold.  No, before you start drooling and ranting about "intrinsic value" or some bullshit, stop and think about it...  the average person buying a coffee doesn't care whether their $2 will buy the same amount of coffee in 5,000 years.  They care about getting on with their day.  And for this and shopping online digital payment processing is the way to go.

Crush the cube's picture

Yeah, and lets put all our eggs in one basket.  How many have had their cards and identities swiped, how you going to solve that problem.  Talk about zero brains.

Durrmockracy's picture

Hey, I know!  Maybe we could use encryption?  Gee it's too bad nobody has already thought of this yet?


redpill's picture

Except paper currency is easy to carry and relatively untraceable.  I'll take that over bullshit encryption that gets hacked all the time.  Yeah, and the PMs for an insurance policy.


Durrmockracy's picture

"bullshit encryption that gets hacked all the time"... too funny!  And this would be what encryption?  You sound like a real expert...

redpill's picture

I don't really care about pissing contests.  All I know is what credit cards I do keep to maintain a credit record have to be replaced pretty frequently due to security breaches on the part of the bank, and it's a pain in the ass.  The benjies in my pocket or the hard stuff in the vault don't depend on a half-ass IT department.


Durrmockracy's picture

hahaha... so you talk shit about crypto but then admit you use a banker's CC?  Hilarious!

And most people when faced with competition will try and up their game.  Beat the competition, instead the Zerobrains create this fanatasy world outside of time like Peter Pan, where people can go back to the "good ol days" and use goldcoin.  Play pirates or maybe cowboys and indians.  Guess what.. time is still moving forward.  Sorry.

The Merovingian's picture

Listen up newbie ... I keep cash, gold, and guns in ready supply, along with food stores, water, medicine, and a couple generators. Redundancy matters. I don't trust crypto currency. Period.

Durrmockracy's picture

Well thanks for coming out and admitting you're simple then!

I keep guns, ammo, food, water and crypto.

Arnold's picture

Just sold a motorcycle for cash.

Felt pretty good.

MANvsMACHINE's picture

Those digital e-cards will not be able to purchase 32oz Big Gulps.

Manthong's picture

"EMP is the knee-capping the banksters deserve."


terrorists won't need explosives..

..just a few monster caps and a big enough power supply. 

maybe a new punk-rock music group..

.. call it "3 gW X-Band"

Good luck with that toasty chip in your wallet and your car computer.



actually, I think I heard that kid playing rap noise noise driving down the street. 

pmbug's picture

FYI - Bloomberg Business broached the plan for a cashless future back in April, 2015:


The drumbeats have been sounding for a while now, albiet slowly and quietly.

Beowulf55's picture

Maybe you ought to talk to The Dread Pirate Roberts about encryption.........

Jones Johnson1's picture

Do you even care that you just write dumb shit on a public forum and dont have any idea of what youre talking about?  I think you took the blue pill that people take when they only what to learn enough about technology so theyre able to turn their computer on and write dumb shit on a public forum.

Durrmockracy's picture

So what encryption method is he using "that gets hacked all the time"?  Answer me!

Durrmockracy's picture

BTW here is the CEO of "Bitgold" talking about how he piggy backs on the SWIFT and Interac system (because he is too stupid to see that Satoshi already solved this problem for him).

Durrmockracy's picture

...and further may I just say that for the average consumer, debit, credit and mobile payments won because of this little thing in capitalism we call "being the superior product".  No, it really wasn't some grand conspiracy.  People simply found it easier to swipe a card and get an envelope in the mail at the end of the month detailing their purchases.  This opposed to carrying around various size chunks of gold, silver and copper and potentially losing them.  There is no reason you cannot have the ease of modern credit and debit cards combined with the long-term stabibility of gold outside of the banking cabal's reach.

Exalt's picture

There are three types of financial system: commodity money, gold standard and fiat.

Under the gold standard people still used bank notes - there's no reason they couldn't use card facilities either.

So get off that soapbox there, stop sucking Bitcoin's dick and learn something about finance before you make a fool of yourself.

What matters in a financial system is the ease with which money can be created, but also not too easily so it's value is protected.

Fiat and crypto are unfortunately way on the extreme of the spectrum. Gold is ideal in the centre and commodity on the other extreme.

Durrmockracy's picture

It must be nice to live in such a simple black and white world.  Truth is we live in a hybrid economic system where currencies trade based upon those nations material wealth and commodities (even if there's no official hard link).  And the "gold standard" wasn't even much of a gold standard for the last 40 years of its life.  Question is, who do you want to oversee those "card facilities" under this new gold standard you want? 

Exalt's picture

Let me ask you this. Did you ever study finance or economics? You don't even seem to have understood my comment or the distinction between the three finance systems I mentioned.

Durrmockracy's picture

What does that matter?  I am a pansophist.

Exalt's picture

Ok... Well here goes...

You don't seem to understand that the gold standard was not a commodity money system. In a commodity money system you carry precious metal coin or otherwise to trade. The gold standard and fiat money are almost identitical financial systems - i.e. they revolve around bank money (notes, coins, deposits) - except they differ in the ease with which money can be created.

Making currency convertible into gold simply limits the speed at which the money stock can grow. In a fiat system it is practically instant. Crypto just takes it one step further and eliminates cash for deposits only. Of course under crypto the money stock, just like under fiat, can be increased instantly and more or less arbitrarily. 

That is a serious problem. Oh and there is no transactional ease difference between gold standard, fiat and crypto. They are practically the same speed. Under the gold standard you don't go into a shop with a pocket full of Kruger Rands (you present bank notes) and even if you did it would be no more difficult than presenting a card for swiping which can be done under gold, fiat or crypto.

The only benefit to eliminating cash is keeping a bankrupt banking system afloat because it can never be expected to honour it's debts to it's depositors and it never has to settle with other banks. They just run endless "tabs" of IOUs and loans with no constraint in the form of how much cash they actually have in the vault. All it takes is a keystroke and hello more money... Thus money has literally zero real value in such a system. It's a completely fraudulent con!

Crypto less so because you have to farm, but many serious financial people don't yet trust that process as foolproof yet. The reason instant money creation is a problem is while it does allow some "stabilisation" of the business cycle and improves liquidity, it is procyclical and ultimately contributes towards the Minsky credit expansion/contraction cycle and actually makes the business cycle more unstable and thus prone to failure.

Credit is a big problem and ultimately needs a quantity of cash constraint - not simply price of liquidity constraint - to prevent political interference in the business cycle. Steady monetary growth to match real growth is required, no less and no more. i.e. no inflation/deflation. Crypto can in theory provide some restraint on money creation but it's a lot harder to produce gold and crypto doesn't have the redundancy of cash and ultimately it's not as "safe". Never mind crypto's volatility.

Bitcoin is a great experiement, but I think good for private citizens not governments.

commander gruze?'s picture

"under crypto the money stock, just like under fiat, can be increased instantly and more or less arbitrarily"

I stopped reading there. You seem to be painting crypto something it is not.

Cryptocurrencies, and let's be honest - among all cryptocurrencies only Bitcoin matters for practical purposes, and to some degree Ethereun (although it's not meant to be a cryptocurrency) - have the same limit applied as precious metals. Only with metal the scarcity is imposed by mother nature. In crypto, scarcity had to be artificially introduced into digital domain, which is in its nature non-scarce, i.e. copying costs nothing. So the INVENTION was devised to make a piece of data scarce in digital realm by putting set of mathematic rules (computational complexity) around data structure (blockchain) and align incentives correctly (psychology). Thus, the supply of Bitcoin CAN NOT be increased instantly. Its rate of issuance is alhorithmically modelled to flatten out to eventually reach 0% in year 2140. If you change that algorithm, it's not any more Bitcoin.

Exalt's picture

Yes but which do you trust more? Nature or some rules in a script? I hear what you are saying and I thought I gave it appropriate attention in my post but programming is not foolproof and is always subject to digital alchemists... nature prevents that as a matter of course and can never fail in that respect. That is why I make the distinction. Let me just put it this way... if a government were to use Bitcoin, do you really believe they would not create the currency at a whim? In any case, I could make the argument against Bitcoin for the volatility of the currency alone. For something to serve as money, it should serve as a storehouse of value. If a currency is very volatile, it is not a storehouse of value... again, that's why I suggest Bitcoin is great for private citizens but you can't run a government on it. Gold's volatility recently has more to do with our financial system than the nature of the commodity itself. Gold has historically been the most stable currency in the world. It need not even be gold, convertible currency can be based on any commodity or a basket of commodities if need be.

commander gruze?'s picture

> Yes but which do you trust more? Nature or some rules in a script?

First, it's not some rules in a script. It's mathematics. When it comes to steady and predictible issuance, mathematics has more to offer than volatile and capricious nature.

> programming is not foolproof and is always subject to digital alchemists

More fearmongering language. It's not some black magic, blockchains are actually braindead simple comparing to other software creations. And being highly mathematical creations, they can be irrefutably validated using the same mathematics.

> nature prevents that as a matter of course and can never fail in that respect

Blockchains are not designed to be infallible. They're designed to be resilient.

> if a government were to use Bitcoin, do you really believe they would not create the currency at a whim?

That wouldn't be Bitcoin any more. If they want to issue FEDcoin, fine. I'll stick to Bitcoin. The problem though is that Bitcoin is not only blockchain. There's the other part that nobody talks about: incentives to keep the network running are rooted in personal self-interest. With that missing, there is no cryptocurrency. And in fairness, government is not interested at all in Bitcoin's decentralized nature. Quite the opposite, for them the best kind of digital currency would be one only operated by their cronies. To them blockchain is a burden. They'd rather see old fashioned, centralized Oracle database instead.

> I could make the argument against Bitcoin for the volatility of the currency alone.

Bitcoin is already more stable than the lowest quartile of national currencies out there. Your first world normalcy bias is evident here. Plus, their volatility is usually on the way down.

> For something to serve as money, it should serve as a storehouse of value. If a currency is very volatile, it is not a storehouse of value...

Clearly, you don't understand what a store of value is. Store of value is NOT that an asset doesn not change its price against fiat currency: with that assumption gold would be horrible store of value for recent years (yes, people don't make plans in 4000 years time horizon - they make plans for next year, rarely longer), and USD would be fantastic (measured against USD it's always 1:1). Store of value means that no third party has the influence on purchasing power through the means of issuance. Gold cannot be issued by a government's decree, which makes it a store of value. Bitcoin can't either be issued at a whim.

> I suggest Bitcoin is great for private citizens but you can't run a government on it.

Exactly. And I don't need one. In fact, if you really want an honest and accountable government you should pay attention to Ethereum.

> Gold's volatility recently has more to do with our financial system than the nature of the commodity itself. Gold has historically been the most stable currency in the world. It need not even be gold, convertible currency can be based on any commodity or a basket of commodities if need be.

Well, there you have it. Bitcoin is a virtual commodity. It's scarce and it's not directly consumable - some exceptions do apply here, i.e. when you want to notarize a document on a blockchain you have to "waste" a tiny amount in OP_RETURN transaction, likewise if you want to issue a stock or deed on the blockchain using OpenAssets protocol, you have to temporarily lock down a fraction of bitcoin. At this stage it should be clear to you that Bitcoin far more than currency. Currency is just an application of Bitcoin blockchain. Wait till you learn about Ethereum.

Isy's picture

Trump Got It Right Again. This Is the Undeniable Proof...

Papi_Al-Mahdi's picture

For 'spending' money I can see many people using digital money but there is no need to ban physical unless they are planning on traping wealth in the system. We already have a NIRP in effect with the real rate of inflation in the US at 9% when you calculate it using the formula the US Govt used in the 80's. People are too hypnotized to put 2 and 2 together like they'll be forced to when it's officially negative. It's been really fucking negative for a while now. The whole point of having a fiat currency is to transfer wealth via inflation. This rate is already moving faster and faster every year. currently, 90%+ loss in 10 years. Banning cash is a way to trap people in the system and make the upcoming bail-in heists more lucrative. Where are you seeking refuge for long term principle preservation? Like you said gold has maintained it's purchase power for 5k years. It's outside of the financial system with no 3rd party liability.


Lore's picture

Exactly. This article is so much shit.  "Come into my parlor," said the spider to the fly.  The fact that an article like this appears in print is evidence of desperation.  The fractional fiat monetary franchise is on its last legs, and they want to steal as much remaining wealth as possible before the entire ponzi is brought crashing down on OUR heads. 

We are in the endgame.  Focus on the topic, not the message.  The topic is entrapment.  The REAL message is that you should endeavour to prepare for some kind of trap being sprung by the debt-money traffickers.  The greatest advantage that you have right now is TIME to find ways to protect yourself. Coming from a western nation where precious metals are largely shunned and marginalized, I doubt that precious metals stored locally is a realistic answer, because that door is shut too easily by legislation. I gather that non-aligned big pockets are shifting wealth to safe havens around the world.  I suspect some here on ZH of doing the same.  The rest of us will have to strive to minimize participation in the system as the trap is sprung: avoid and eliminate debt, focus on debits vs. credits, invest in things that will outlive the fading currency framework, and cope as best you can. More will become clear once the actual moves are revealed.

"A rule that a person's transaction history could be accessed only with a court order, for instance, might alleviate privacy concerns." Heh! Comedy.