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  1. #1

    Why do we even have physical currencies in this day and age?

    Coins cost a lot of money to make. A quarter (the most efficient) costs about 7.5 cents to make while a penny costs 70% more than its face value ($.017) to create. They're unwieldy, almost no one likes them and most people just throw them in a jar or can when they get home for a yearly trip to a CoinStar machine. Coins are not worth the effort it takes to make them, is what I'm saying.

    On the other end of the spectrum, $50 and $100 bills are the vehicle of choice for high-end crime (a cash only business) including human trafficking, drug cartels and arms deals. Oh, and North Korea has managed to produce perfect copies of US $50 and $100 bills, so our continued use of them enriches the Kim dynasty.

    That pretty much leaves the $1, $5, $10 and $20 bills as being the most common while also being in denominations too small (save, perhaps, the $20) to be used effectively for high crime.

    With the prevalence of digital technology, and the far superior nature of cryptography (Both in cost and effectiveness) to currency security, I see no reason we need a physical currency anymore.

  2. #2
    Dreadlord Wookeh's Avatar
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    I don't know many Dutch people that still carry cash... everyone always uses their bank pass to pay for everything, both in normal stores as online.

  3. #3
    If we don't have physical currency, what happens when electricity fails? What about during a war? How about when a solar flare hits us and we don't have electricity for a long time? We need physical currency.

    If you don't like physical currency, you don't need to use it.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Wookeh View Post
    I don't know many Dutch people that still carry cash... everyone always uses their bank pass to pay for everything, both in normal stores as online.
    Most Americans do the exact same thing.

  5. #5
    Smile! Migari's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Promethieus View Post
    If we don't have physical currency, what happens when electricity fails? What about during a war? How about when a solar flare hits us and we don't have electricity for a long time? We need physical currency.

    If you don't like physical currency, you don't need to use it.
    In addition to this, what about homeless people? A lot of them survive largely by people giving them some spare change.
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  6. #6
    mostly because you lack a global unified system. having physical currency allows countries to be on the same "level" of trade, however if 90% of the world trades only via cards, then the other 10% would be isolated and will trade on worse terms(and have their currency/money devalued because they will be viewed as foreign).

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Promethieus View Post
    If we don't have physical currency, what happens when electricity fails? What about during a war? How about when a solar flare hits us and we don't have electricity for a long time? We need physical currency.

    If you don't like physical currency, you don't need to use it.
    I personally think, in the event of non-physical currency not being present, we shouldn't have a need for any kind of currency at all.
    Edit: For clarity, I personally feel the world would be a lot better off without currency.

  8. #8
    The Insane Catta's Avatar
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    What happens during a blackout? Or if the internet is down. No groceries...?

  9. #9
    The Patient paxx0r's Avatar
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    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-202_162-...hless-economy/

    Its on the way! But it will take time to completely remove it from our everyday life.

  10. #10
    credit cards charge like 3% or so merchants.
    If you're buying something really cheap, there maybe a minimum fee merchant will have to pay, so they'll have to make item more expensive to just cover the fee.
    it's easy for a business to not report cash income, so consumer could negotiate better price with cash. (I don't know if you like this, I'm just stating it as a difference)
    it's easy to give a kid $20, I guess if there are re-chargeable gift cards you can just add $20 to it, but that requires use of computer, vs reaching into your wallet.

    I don't think we're technologically advanced enough yet that we can replace cash.
    Like others have said, it's still possible for power to go down, like we had at Sandy for example. if there was an entrepreneurial people driving around selling gas - you couldn't pay for it (no power = no money right?)

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Promethieus View Post
    If we don't have physical currency, what happens when electricity fails? What about during a war? How about when a solar flare hits us and we don't have electricity for a long time? We need physical currency.

    If you don't like physical currency, you don't need to use it.
    Your phone has batteries and a card doesn't need them... I live in an area hit by Hurricane Sandy and my ability to spend was never impaired. You can spend electronic dollars over the phone, and businesses that had backup generators had no problem accepting Visa. An AA-battery device is more than capable of completing an electronic transaction.

    And if you're one of those weirdos who does insist on physical currency, there are plenty of universally accepted currency substitutes.

    In exchange for the "sacrifice" of giving up physical currency, we make doing criminal business (at least in the United States and Mexico and possibly China) significantly harder because electronic currencies have a paper trail that cash does not.

    ---------- Post added 2012-12-22 at 08:35 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Stir View Post
    I personally think, in the event of non-physical currency not being present, we shouldn't have a need for any kind of currency at all.
    Edit: For clarity, I personally feel the world would be a lot better off without currency.
    Without a currency we'd have no way to transfer wealth and labor.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by someotherguy View Post
    credit cards charge like 3% or so merchants.
    If you're buying something really cheap, there maybe a minimum fee merchant will have to pay, so they'll have to make item more expensive to just cover the fee.
    it's easy for a business to not report cash income, so consumer could negotiate better price with cash. (I don't know if you like this, I'm just stating it as a difference)
    it's easy to give a kid $20, I guess if there are re-chargeable gift cards you can just add $20 to it, but that requires use of computer, vs reaching into your wallet.

    I don't think we're technologically advanced enough yet that we can replace cash.
    Like others have said, it's still possible for power to go down, like we had at Sandy for example. if there was an entrepreneurial people driving around selling gas - you couldn't pay for it (no power = no money right?)
    The only reason merchants are charged that fee is because Visa and Mastercard operate their networks.

    Private companies gotta get paid, too.

    A cash-card type system need not necessarily be for-profit.

    ---------- Post added 2012-12-22 at 08:38 PM ----------

    You'd save money by using $1 coins instead of bills.

    You'd save even more by using neither.

  13. #13
    Tax evasion.

    You can't evade the IRS when all your transactions are electronically logged.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by someotherguy View Post
    credit cards charge like 3% or so merchants.
    If you're buying something really cheap, there maybe a minimum fee merchant will have to pay, so they'll have to make item more expensive to just cover the fee.
    it's easy for a business to not report cash income, so consumer could negotiate better price with cash. (I don't know if you like this, I'm just stating it as a difference)
    it's easy to give a kid $20, I guess if there are re-chargeable gift cards you can just add $20 to it, but that requires use of computer, vs reaching into your wallet.

    I don't think we're technologically advanced enough yet that we can replace cash.
    Like others have said, it's still possible for power to go down, like we had at Sandy for example. if there was an entrepreneurial people driving around selling gas - you couldn't pay for it (no power = no money right?)
    Except that's totally not the case.

    I live in NJ and my ability to spend without cash was unimpeded.

    The only businesses I couldn't spend at were the ones that were unable to operate without power to begin with.

    For dealing with average people there are always checks or bank transfers...

    No one needs cash except criminals.

  15. #15
    The Insane peggleftw's Avatar
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    i never carry cash :\ every accepts card these days so i always pay on that.
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  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by User007 View Post
    Tax evasion.

    You can't evade the IRS when all your transactions are electronically logged.
    Well you COULD use a cryptocurrency, but (as with all currencies) it can only be spent where people accept it.

  17. #17
    The Insane Catta's Avatar
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    I find digital currencies too vulnerable and also impractical in case of problems.

    I used to work in a bakery at we could had 3 registers. But only one credit card thingy. And it always had some problem like being very slow, not being able to connect, turn on or the wrong numbers were pushed so it had to be transferred back and stuff. When people paid in cash it was much faster.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Cattaclysmic View Post
    I find digital currencies too vulnerable and also impractical in case of problems.

    I used to work in a bakery at we could had 3 registers. But only one credit card thingy. And it always had some problem like being very slow, not being able to connect, turn on or the wrong numbers were pushed so it had to be transferred back and stuff. When people paid in cash it was much faster.
    Anecdotal evidence, however, is just that.

    For a physical currency to be as secure as a digital currency, you'd have to counterfeit check every single bill that came through your point of sale. Even then you wouldn't catch every single counterfeit.

    Talk about slow and vulnerable?

  19. #19
    Fluffy Kitten Taurenburger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wookeh View Post
    I don't know many Dutch people that still carry cash... everyone always uses their bank pass to pay for everything, both in normal stores as online.
    Yeah, I hate cash. I spend it asap when I get it.
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  20. #20
    If it was up to me, I'd remove all electronic currency(but leave it in as a convenient alternative) and paper currency and reintroduced precious metal coins.

    Why? Because that would give money a real value instead of worthless paper of a few bytes in some computer that could be gone if some decides so. With precious metal currency, the whole country can fall but money would still be valuable. This would also stop governments from being able to devalue money by printing more of it on a whim. Make more coins? Gold is still gold and silver is still silver so you wouldn't lose anything from it.

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