Could We See a US Digital Dollar Soon?

· Andrew Orr · Link

Image of a digital dollar

So right away, the answer to my headline is “probably not.” The article I’m linking to says language of digital dollars was removed from the final version of the stimulus package. But I think it’s worthwhile to think about.

The bill establishes a digital dollar, which it defines as ‘a balance expressed as a dollar value consisting of digital ledger entries that are recorded as liabilities in the accounts of any Federal Reserve Bank or … an electronic unit of value, redeemable by an eligible financial institution (as determined by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System).’

Now may not be the time to introduce entirely new technologies, especially if they slow the release of the package. But I personally like the idea, although I don’t advocate for a completely cashless society as I’ve mentioned before.

More Cities, States Say No to Cashless Businesses

· Andrew Orr · Link

Last month New York City passed a bill to ban businesses from rejecting cash. On February 13 a similar resolution will be heard in Washington, D.C.

Excluding people from paying with cash means “essentially discriminating against people who are low-income, people who are homeless, also undocumented,” she said.

Getting a credit or debit card often requires a form of ID, a utility or another bill, money to deposit and a financial history. Mitchell said that in Washington, D.C., nearly a third of residents rely on cash every day because they don’t have a card or even a bank account.

A Cashless Society Could Affect Strippers and Other Sex Workers

· Andrew Orr · Link

I’ve written musings here and there about the cashless society, but sex work as an affected industry hadn’t crossed my mind. I think it’s an important conversation to have, though. I wonder what an alternative could be? Special jewelry with NFC chips that can accept peer-to-peer payments? Imagine tipping a stripper with Apple Pay. Sorry Tim Cook.

But without cash, the club I work at is free to exploit. Cash handed directly to a dancer gets pocketed, but credit card charges are skimmed—and because workers are more or less off the books, we have no recourse to contest absurdly high fees. When a customer pays several hundred dollars to spend time in a dark room alone with a dancer, the club takes a 70 percent cut.

Backlash Against Cashless Stores

· Andrew Orr · Link

There is no federal law that requires stores to accept cash, which was something that surprised me. So some stores are going cashless, but some argue this discriminates against poor people who don’t have a bank account and/or a fancy smartphone.

Advocates for cashless bans worry technology is moving too fast for the 6.5% of American households — 8.4 million — that do not have a bank account, according to figures from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.

Cashless is hard enough, but imagine if you walked into a store only to find out that it only accepts Google Pay. That might bring the reality a bit closer to home.

 

Going Cashless is in Our Near Future

· Andrew Orr · Link

Jefferson Graham writes how going cashless is the future, with contactless payment apps like Apple Pay ushering this reality in.

“It seems that people are moving away from cash and technology is making it easier than ever to tap and go.” Advantage: faster checkout lines, and the elimination of fees for armored car cash pickups and fear from employees about getting robbed.

For the most part I’m already mostly cashless. The only thing I need cash for is laundry. For everything else I use a debit or credit card.