A completely cashless society with only digital payment services available may seem the ultimate convenience for some, but for two renowned crypto researchers, Hasu and Zushu, the scenario spells trouble in the forms of absolute government surveillance, financial control, and authoritarianism.
In their latest jointly published blog post (Feb 12), the duo argue that the dominance of cash throughout human history is being erased y digital forms of payments. But cash bears its own unique traits from digital payments that should not be overlooked lightly, or taken for granted.
Cash can do some things that digital payments cannot. Cash is exchangeable directly between parties without a middleman. Its ownership is transferable simply by handing it over – and anonymously too. Cash is “permissionless, censorship-resistant and, most importantly, private”, write Hasu and Zu Shu.
The duo uphold the view that governments are enthusiastically promoting the use of digital payments over cash for their own agenda, noting some governments have been pushing to discourage, and even criminalize, holding or using cash.
“A society without cash has no ability to transact value without the omnipresence of government actors,” they argue, adding that the elimination of cash “removes an important choice, and safeguard against government abuse, for the people”.
Their solution: Bitcoin. Hasu and Zu Shu believe that Bitcoin’s decentralized and digital nature means it no longer has “the central point of failure” that made earlier private coins vulnerable. Bitcoin also marries both physical cash and digital payments into “an entirely new breed” of digital cash.
Bitcoin can be transacted peer-to-peer, does not censor or require permission, and offers a “reasonable level” of privacy. The researchers added that with a cashless society “looming on the horizon, we more than ever need” Bitcoin to be a success.
The two are not entirely alone in their viewpoint either. BitMEX CEO Arthur Hayes has been reported by NewsBTC for sharing a similar perspective earlier this year on Bitcoin and its counterpoint to a cashless society.