The coming brave new world may also be a fragile one. As most of the Western world is pushed into abandoning cash and embracing a fully digital cashless grid, it is apparent how vulnerable populations will become in times of crisis. If the power grid were to go down in a storm or an attack, it is readily apparent that the system of commerce would go down with it; payments would stop and desperate people would line up for help. Those with their own supplies, barter items and physical commodities will remain the most comfortable, but the very fabric of society could come unglued.
Will they really ban cash when so much could go wrong? Paul-Martin Foss writes for the Carl Menger Center: Cash is being displaced by credit and debit cards, which are themselves beginning to be displaced by new digital currencies and payment systems … But despite all the advances brought about by the digital revolution, there are still quite a few drawbacks. The most obvious is that it is reliant on electricity. One major hurricane knocking out power, a mid-summer brownout, or a hacker attack on the power grid could bring commerce to a halt. With cash, transactions are still possible. With digital payments, civilization comes to an end until power is restored. Unless you have food stored or goods with which to barter, you’re out of luck. Just imagine a city like New York with no power and no way to buy or sell anything. It won’t be pretty. READ MORE