Thanks to a friend for sending me this earlier today. It's a satirical look at what the world would think if digital currency were the standard and paper currency was just invented.
It's a fun read, with some good quotes. It starts:
World governments announced a plan today to allow citizens to anonymously carry parts of their wealth on their person and exchange it with others using small pieces of colorful paper printed with nationalistic and Masonic imagery along with numbers that purportedly represent the amount of wealth each piece of paper represents (if the paper is not a counterfeit). These pieces of paper are formally a "note" from each nation's central bank, but they are also called "cash" by many - this is a technical matter that is too complex to cover in our basic primer; Suffice it to say, that it is representative of the complexity and user-unfriendliness of this new system.
‘Bills’ – A complex construct
These pieces of papers (also known as “bills”, "dollar bills", "George Washingtons" or "Dead Presidents" among the shadowy community of anti-banking libertarians who have been the primary users of cash to date) will differ from country to country and are not redeemable outside national borders.
My favourite part:
“Cash is a 100% anonymous and untraceable payments technology. It is like a weapon of mass destruction launched against law enforcement,” said Mike Smith, the recently confirmed FBI Director. “It is the perfect payment mechanism for criminals, drug cartels, terrorists, prostitution rings and money launderers. We don’t know how we will be able to combat such a technology and fully expect that a new generation of super-criminals will emerge, working in the shadows of a world where they can conduct their illicit affairs without leaving a trace.”
[Update] After another read, I have a new favourite part:
Though hard to imagine, cash operates with no consumer protection at all. If your ‘bills’ are stolen or lost, they are gone forever.
“I just don’t understand why there is nobody that I can call to reinstate my cash if I lose it,” says Mike Smith, a businessman from Toledo. “What type of idiotic wealth and payment system doesn’t maintain transaction and ownership records?”
Moreover, there appears to be no authentication mechanism associated with cash payments or transfers, let alone one that matches modern security standards. Once someone has gained physical control of your ‘bills’, they are free to spend or use them as they wish and there is no way to reverse the transaction, stop them or even identify who has stolen them.