The European Central Bank will stop printing the 500-Euro note, which economists have indicated is a step towards banning cash altogether. Claiming the banknote “could facilitate illicit activities,” the ECB said it would stop producing the bill at the end of 2018, but academics are pointing out there’s no evidence the bills were heavily used in crime.

“Organized crime isn’t stupid,” said Friedrich Schneider, an Austrian professor and expert on the black economy. “Most money is laundered without cash via bogus companies.” And it’s been well documented that the central banks themselves are also laundering billions for organized crime, so the abolition of cash is the only plausible reason for the note’s discontinuation. READ MORE