The Criminalization of Cash

by | Apr 15, 2015 | Articles | 24 comments

No-Cashby James Corbett
April 15, 2015

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: Louisiana has moved to criminalize cash! That’s right, as you may have read on any number of websites this week, Louisiana’s state legislature has passed House Bill 195, which reads in part:

“A secondhand dealer shall not enter into any cash transactions in payment for the purchase of junk or used or secondhand property. Payment shall be made in the form of check, electronic transfers, or money order issued to the seller of the junk or used or secondhand property and made payable to the name and address of the seller.”

If this story seems familiar to you, then congratulations; you were probably paying attention when the bill was actually passed back in 2011. That’s right, in another example of that strange internet phenomenon by which a very old “news” story gets picked up as new news by one website and then copy-pasted around the internet, it looks like Louisiana’s anti-cash secondhand goods law just got recycled (appropriately enough) as a secondhand news story.

And why not? The story itself may be old, but it is part of an unfolding agenda to create a cashless society, an agenda that continues to this very day.

paypass1Do you remember when the Canadian government stopped allowing payment of taxes in cash at government service centers? Or when Passport Canada did the same?

How about when children’s game manufacturers started pumping out cashless versions of the Game of Life, Monopoly and other classics? Or when companies like IBM started pimping their vision of a cashless future in TV advertisements?

Or there’s the fact that London buses no longer take cash. Same in Sweden.

Did you catch when Visa chief Peter Ayliffe predicted the end of cash?

Or perhaps you’ve noticed that cash is getting increasingly more difficult to withdraw or even deposit into your bank account?

Of course, there are many reasons presented as to why we need to transition into a cashless society. Cash is only used by criminals and terrorists, after all (just ask the government of France or the FBI or Amtrak or, presumably, the authors of House Bill 195 in Louisiana). Cash carries germs. Cash is so, like, 20th century.

This is hogwash and propaganda, of course. As various sites pointed out with regard to the Louisiana story, the government moving to ban cash is a further encroachment on property rights and due process. It is also a move that disproportionately hurts the poor, who often have less access to banking services or credit/debit instruments. But perhaps more to the point, the future cashless society that the social engineers are trying to bring in is a world of total government surveillance. The government is already reading your emails and listening to your phone calls. Do you really want them correlating all of that data with the record of everything you ever purchase, and to keep all of that on file for the rest of eternity? No, I thought not.

timebankSo what is the answer to this mess? Certainly not government regulation. In fact, there is no reason the government should be involved with the money supply at all, either issuing it, regulating it, or outlawing it. Do you really want the government to be able to stop you from using their central bank funny money fiat paper (or any other form of currency) to buy a table lamp at a garage sale? Where and how did they get the authority to step in between the two people making that transaction? And if they don’t have that authority, why would we cede it to them by sheepishly complying with these edicts?

Thankfully, there are indications here and there that the people, when given a choice, will opt to go for cash transactions and human interaction. Let’s see if we can push that inclination to its logical conclusion by shunning the government-issued colored paper altogether and transacting with alternative and complementary currencies as much as possible.


  1. I can’t download files from on my android phone. Is anyone else having this problem?

    Serves me right for using a gov’t tracking device, I know, but it’s bothering me all the same. I can download from other sites, including other wordpress ones. It doesn’t work on the phone’s web browser or any of the podcatchers I’ve tried so I doubt it’s an app problem. I can download the podcast fine on my PC so it’s not my ISP censoring it or something. It’s not even the first time I’ve tried, it used to work absolutely fine with the same phone and the same app. I even tried downloading old podcasts, specific ones that I know I’ve downloaded before, and they don’t work either, so it’s not some new format that’s being used since x recent date. I’ve spent hours searching online for a solution and I’m last resorting with this post. Anybody got any ideas?

    • Thanks for letting us know about the problem. Could it be due to the switch to SSL a few months ago? There seems to be problems for Android users downloading files from https sites:

      Anyone else havee this problem? And quick fixes out there? I don’t use Android myself, so can’t troubleshoot this on my end.

      • Thank you! That looks like the problem. I guess I’ll have to download the files on my PC and copy them over. It’s a hard life.

        I’m just really glad you’re not being censored, big up Jimmy C everytime!

  2. The solution is to stop obeying and realize how vastly we the people outnumber the elites and their thugs. If we can wake up just a couple of % of the population and make them stop obeying, we will overwhelm them.

    • Understatement of the century! Thanks for pointing that out.

      • Thank you for that, BuddhaForce. You are doing a valuable service here, so please do keep it up.

      • Mondato LLC

        Established in 2008, Mondato LLC is a boutique consultancy specializing in commercial and operational support for mobile financial services. Born from years of experience in the telecommunications, technology and financial sectors, Mondato works exclusively in mobile financial services (MFS) as we understand the industry needs and have designed our products to address them.

        Our custom offerings target both public and private sector actors, including mobile operators, service providers and companies interested in implementing or investing in MFS. As such, we calibrate company structures and offerings and open up new markets to take full advantage of mobile and financial opportunities.

        With a cadre of highly trained MFS experts and a global network of industry contacts, Mondato has developed the depth of experience necessary to execute high-stakes projects in MFS and adjacent spheres.

    • CARE International.

      They provide humanitarian relief and other things that I’m sure are real great. Unfortunately, their poverty fighting plans fall into the cashless paradigm. Here’s a quick run-down of their focus, which includes some real neat ideas like harvesting water from mist in the air, but also things like: Mobile money & electronic vouchers, financial inclusion (which is the trendy buzzword for getting people wrapped up in the cashless banking scam), and the innocuous “Community Score Cards”.

      So where does the money come from?
      A resounding 51% of the financing is from DFID (Department For International Development, the Brit’s USAID). Notable other big sponsors are the EU, the ECHO fund, and The Big Lottery fund.

    • GSMA

      They claim to represent the interests of mobile operators worldwide, including “nearly 800 operators with more than 250 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem, including handset and device makers, software companies, equipment providers and Internet companies, as well as organisations in adjacent industry sectors.”

      A recent article by Mia Overall of the Better Than Cash Alliance claims that they are big supporters of “mobile money for development around the world.”

    • The Cash Learning Partnership (CaLP)

      This organization, which is directed in part by the Red Cross/Red Crescent Societies, seeks to implement “Cash Transfer Programming (CTP)” in any and all disaster areas as a means of humanitarian relief. Basically the idea here is to just that instead of sending “in-kind” supplies (like water, blankets, food, etc.,) that sending cash or vouchers is more effective, and in the words of the Red Cross, “risks of abuse are no greater than for other forms of commodity response.” (pg. 12)

      However, given recent news stories on the phenomenal work of the Red Cross in Haiti, one could be forgiven for thinking otherwise.

      But what does all this have to do with the Cashless Society? After all this group just wants to send cash to these poor destitute people instead of goods, aren’t they just promoting the use of cash?

      Meet the Electronic Cash Transfer Learning Action Network (elan)

      The electronic cash transfer learning action network (elan) aims to improve how electronic cash and electronic vouchers are used to assist survivors of natural disasters and conflict. It brings humanitarian organizations and the private sector together in partnership to improve e-transfer programs.

      Yeah but is this really being pushed by CaLP and humanitarian agencies like the Red Cross? Yes, and if not, then the plan is to use them as a vehicle:

      The elan builds upon pioneering work on e-transfers by the Cash Learning Partnership (CaLP), NetHope and other implementing agencies. It will leverage CaLP’s communications platforms to disseminate information and learning.

      WHO FUNDS elan?
      MasterCard Center for Inclusive Growth

      ECHO (EU Humanitarian Fund), USAID, Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (Canadian USAID), Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), and Australian Aid (Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade).

    • Grupo Bimbo

      This group owns some of the largest bakeries in Mexico, Spain, and the United States. This includes Sara Lee brands and Oroweat.

      This is the wording you want to watch for:
      Grupo Bimbo is a company that incorporates corporate social responsibility into its production and distribution operations in the countries where it is present.

      Their program you want to watch for is Red Qiubo.

  3. Also wanted to share this, Level One Project, funded by B&M Gates Foundation.

    When talking about how this cashless, digital financial super-structure will be welded together, this document looks like it could be interesting. The subtitle itself is extremely provacative:
    “Designing a New System for Financial Inclusion”

    They are going to target the poor first, those who live on less than $2 per day, by constructing a new financial system based on digital currency, because these poor folks don’t have the pleasure currently of depositing the fruits of their labor into the financial black holes we call banks.

    It calls for things like:
    * “The Digital Payments System Organization,” a governing entity that will rule over the new financial paradigm.

    * A payment clearing and settlement institution (think SWIFT/CHIPS) called the IST (Interoperability Service for Transfers), that would do other innocuous things like (emphasis added,) “[operate] a directory that recognizes telephone numbers (and probably national ID numbers) as “belonging” to a given DFS provider participant, allowing the switch to operate and reach all participants.”

    * Run a “Watchdog Group” called the “Fraud and Risk Management Service (FRMS),” that will run a giant database where all participating countries contribute customer data on (emphasis added) ” fraudulent accounts and transactions (and possibly about non-fraudulent accounts and transactions as well).” So pretty much everybody…This data will allow them to fight fraud and abuse in the system and, oddly enough, also be used for “[screening] new account applicants and individual transactions.”

    How you like them apples? The document is only 24 pages, but it needs more thorough scrutiny. Hopefully the OSI community will pry this sucker open.

  4. Colombian Coffee Growers Gone Cashless

    Roughly 410,000 small coffee farmers in Colombia, belonging to the “Colombian Coffee Growers Federation” (or Federación,) were issued “Coffee Smart ID Cards” between 2007 and 2013. These personalized cards, fitted with a magstripe and chip, were issued by a bank for use with payments for coffee and government benefits. Here are some of the noted results, and perhaps some insights into how a cashless society will be sold to the public:

    1. “there is little question of the approach’s cost efficiency for the
    Federación: It was able to reduce costs over the period by up to 79%
    relative to cash, saving $15.5 million.”

    2. “allowed the disbursement of subsidies to be better targeted, increasing efficiency, transparency, speed, and security”

    * Interesting note here from the paper which is very revealing of how this paradigm could be backdoored in, (emphasis added): “Second, the card was used in unexpected ways: Most of the receipts were tied to the disbursement of various government subsidy schemes, rather than Federación coffee purchases.

    3. “The card will now be a full savings account at the bank with access to all ATM and POS devices in the country, making the card an on-ramp to financial inclusion.”

  5. The Bangladesh Government has signed on to going cashless.

    “The Government plans to digitize all forms of social safety payments to citizens, and all forms of fees that citizens make to the government for services. In addition, it will enable the digitization of domestic and international remittances and financial transactions for e-commerce.”

    Its all part of the “Digital Bangladesh Vision 2021” program, which is available here if you are into falling asleep.

    So wheres the money coming from?
    United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) & USAID.

  6. Blythe Baby on Digital Distributed Ledgers

    Ex-JPMorgan credit default swap queen, Blythe Masters, talks about digital distributed ledgers. From what I can gather this is the digital record of all your transactions within the system.

    “Economic transactions on a digital ledger can be programmed to record virtually anything of value.”

    “How seriously should you take this? I would take it about as seriously as you should have taken the concept of the Internet in the early 1990’s. It’s a big deal. And it is going to change the way our financial world operates.”

  7. BoE is interested in Bitcoin, or at least one of it’s features.

    The Bank of England’s Research Agenda for 2015 came out a few months ago, and if you flip to page #31, they talk about digital currencies. A particular feature of Bitcoin seems to have piqued the interest these central bankers. What is it? The Digital Distributed Ledger. The record, database, or whatever you want to call it that stores all of the transactions made inside the digital system. Why?

    “Further research would also be required into how digital identity management could be achieved (Brown (2014)) while balancing privacy considerations.”

    • Nine of Worlds Biggest Banks Form Blockchain Partnership

      I’m telling you, banks love BitCoin, or at least the technology underpinning it. This is the infrastructure for the cashless society.

      Nine of the world’s biggest banks, including Goldman Sachs and Barclays, have joined forces with New York-based financial tech firm R3 to create a framework for using blockchain technology in the markets, the firm said on Tuesday.

      It is the first time banks have come together to work on a shared way in which the technology that underpins bitcoin — a controversial, Web-based “cryptocurrency” — can be used in finance.

  8. Cash is Going Extinct, Unless You Pay to Protect It

    This is a rather interesting read on how central banks are helping to destroy cash, and why going cashless could be a disaster. Here are some relevant excerpts:

    Swiss pension funds are under attack by the very central bank that should be protecting the prosperity of its people, the Swiss National Bank (SNB). The SNB has cut rates so low that from a nominal level they have breached the zero lower band, resulting in an essentially negative rate. This has caused Swiss pension funds to begin to withdraw cash from the bank and store it in a vault since now the cost of carry is greater than cold hard storage of cash.

    With negative interest rates, Swiss pension funds now have the honor of paying the bank to hold their cash for them. One Pension fund manager calculated he would save CHF 25,000 per year on every CHF 10 million by withdrawing it from a bank and putting it into vault storage. Yes you read that right!


    “Physical paper money provides the check against negative interest rates for if they become too great, people will simply withdraw their funds and hoard cash,” says economist Martin Armstrong. “Furthermore, paper currency allows for bank runs. Eliminate paper currency and what you end up with is the elimination of the ability to demand to withdraw funds from a bank.”

    Electronic currency also transfers complete control of the money supply to the central banks to implement whatever policies they desire. Armstrong further explains why central banks dislike physical cash:

    “Paper currency is indeed the check against negative interest rates. We need only look to Switzerland to prove that theory. Any attempt to impose say a 5% negative interest rates (tax) would lead to an unimaginably massive flight into cash. This was already demonstrated recently by the example of Swiss pension funds, which withdrew their money from the bank in a big way and now store it in vaults in cash in order to escape the financial repression. People will act in their own self-interest and negative interest rates are likely to reduce the sales of government bonds and set off a bank run as long as paper money exists.”


    * Interesting note: this article was originally titled “War on Cash” when published.

  9. Some interesting snippets from the Mondato Summit Africa 2015

    Why would banks and lenders want to eliminate cash? Maybe the fact that a cashless digital currency is more profitable. How profitable is it?

    afb are individualizing loan limits (which are profitable right down to a US$0.30 — yes, 30 cents! — loan), fees and terms.

    30 cents! WOOHOO! Can’t you just feel the elation the eMoney masters. If you have ever tried to get a small loan you know how hard it is and how high the interest must be for it to be profitable. Cashless financing looks like it will make micro-lending more profitable, thus sucking more people in.

    Also here is a shining example of how a cashless society will be a social planners wet dream:

    remote control and sensing can be applied to improve financing risk for devices and behaviour discounts by insurers

    Ohh hurray, aren’t you just curious about what they mean by “remote control” and “sensing” when they talk about the devices you will use for mobile banking? I’m sure it will be perfectly benign. Also, just for good measure how about some “behavior discounts,” you know as a reward for conforming to the expected norms of the new cashless society.

    This is what the people who are leading the push to the cashless paradigm are talking about right now.

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