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Cash News: March 9-13

Categories : Future of Cash
March 15, 2022
Tags : Access to cash, ATM, Cryptocurrency, War on Cash
Elsewhere on the Web is a new CashEssentials section with curated links to news and articles on cash and money. Last week, cryptocurrency ATMs were under the spotlight.
Guillaume Lepecq

Chair, CashEssentials

This post is also available in: Spanish

Here is a summary of last week’s selection.

Cryptocurrency ATMs Under the Spotlight quotes research from Bankless Times showing that the number of Bitcoin ATMs has increased by more than 4200% in six years, or by 198% per year on average. Bitcoin ATMs are devices that allow the purchase and sale of bitcoins with cash. There are over currently 14,900 Bitcoin ATMs globally, says the article. However, puts the figure at 36,394 installed devices, 88.1% of which are located in the US.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has warned deployers of cryptocurrency ATMs to shut down their machines of face enforcement action in the UK. “Crypto ATMs offering cryptoasset exchange services in the UK must be registered with us and comply with UK Money Laundering Regulations,” the regulator wrote.

Cold War Cash Bunker

Yahoo writes about a Cold War-era nuclear bunker, located under the town of Cochem in German Rhineland, which used to store 15 billion marks worth of an alternative emergency currency, intended for use if German’s monetary system came under attack. The bunker is now a museum.

New Notes and New Substrates

The Bank of Jamaica has announced the introduction of a new series of banknotes in the last quarter of 2022. The notes will feature images of former Prime Ministers and national heroes. The notes will be printed on a polymer substrate, and their circulation life is expected to increase by 50%.

Business Mirror explains how the decision by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas to move from paper to polymer banknotes is meeting resistance in the Philippines, particularly from abaca farmers, as the abaca fibres are currently used to produce paper banknotes.

Cashless Policies and War on Cash

There are numerous articles on cashless policies in Australia, India, Liberia the US. The Liberian Observer questions “Liberia: Cashless Economy Imminent?”. A few paragraphs down, the answer can be found: “Cash is the most prevalent tax payment channel in Liberia. Approximately 98% of government revenues (taxes and fees) were paid in cash between 2017 and October 2021. Over the same period, direct bank transfers and mobile money accounted for 1.3% and 1.1%, respectively.”

The Guardian writes that food outlets in the UK are increasingly refusing cash, despite calls from the consumer association Which?, charity AGE UK, and the UK Cash Supply Alliance to offer payment choice.

The Washington Post writes that workers reliant on tips – including hotel maids, restaurant staff, and skycaps – have been struck by the increase in digital payments during the pandemic.

In Lebanon, the central bank’s decision to pay 50% of the value of purchases in cash and 50% in bank cards is creating confusion, reports Dr Jassem Ajaka, an economist, described the repercussions as “economically catastrophic, as long as the amount of banknotes in Lebanese pounds that a citizen can withdraw from banks is limited while prices are rising.”

Counterfeit Stories

A counterfeit gang was reportedly dismantled in Spain, while another crew using ‘movie money’ for food purchases has also been busted. In South Africa, a man was arrested for allegedly trading counterfeit US dollars.

Access to Cash 

In Portugal, the National Association of Parishes (Anafre) has approved a motion demanding the installation of ATMs in all parishes in the country by state-owned Caixa Geral de Depósitos, writes The Portugal News. “This measure is of extreme importance both for the quality of life of the populations, as well as for their imperative security,” reads the motion.

The entire selection of articles from last week is available here.

This post is also available in: Spanish