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Cash News: March 14-21

Categories : Cash protects privacy and anonymity, Future of Cash, Innovation contributes to the efficiency of cash
March 24, 2022
Tags : Counterfeiting, Future of Money, Innovation
Elsewhere on the Web provides weekly updates and links to articles related to cash and money, curated on the web. Last week, the future of money was a hot topic, and several Latin-American banknotes were rewarded for their excellence in design and security.
Guillaume Lepecq

Chair, CashEssentials

This post is also available in: Spanish

Here is a summary of last week’s selection.

The Future of Money

Alex Lo from the South China Morning Post provides an interesting book review of The Future of Money: How the Digital Revolution is Transforming Currencies and Finance by Eswar Prasad, an economics professor from Cornell University and a former economist at the International Monetary Fund. “The future of money is digital. Of course, everyone knows that, though physical cash may still have limited use for a long time to come.” writes Lo. “It’s no surprise that central banks and financial regulators around the world now want their own CBDCs (central bank digital currencies), just as they are used to being the only legal issuers of fiat money. Prasad spells out the pros and cons of private cryptocurrencies and CBDCs, and argues that CBDCs will inevitably play a dominant role in fintech and future finance,” he adds. But Prasad provides no precise predictions of the social, political, and privacy implications or whether this will favour the private or public sector.

An op-ed in US-based news site The Hill also focuses on CBDC and the fragility of a cashless society. The author, Kilian Laverty, describes a nightmarish scenario and a dystopian future. “The digital yuan will increase the ability of the Chinese government to silence dissidents and control speech.” writes Laverty. But who needs a CBDC to silence dissidents? Laverty recalls that in 2022, “In an attempt to squash the voices of those who disagree with his preferred policies, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau froze the bank accounts of protesters.” He concludes, “We also cannot leave behind the enormous value provided by conventional cash payments.”

In Equal Times, a European news site supported by the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) and the International Labour Organization, Victor Ventura questions whether physical money will disappear. “For all types of governments, the idea of having a record of all their citizens’ transactions is a dream come true,” says Ventura. Digital payments are already widespread, but they exclude a significant share of the world’s population, including the elderly and digital illiterates, who do not have a stable internet connection and cannot afford a mobile connection or a bank account. “Virtual money already coexists seamlessly with physical money. But paper banknotes still have a lot of use left in them.” concludes Ventura.

In The Vancouver Sun, Barry Choi stresses that while credit cards may be convenient and offer rewards, they also encourage consumers to spend more than with cash. “[..] if the priority is to keep your spending in check, cash is the way to go.” says Choi.

New Banknotes Rewarded

At the recent High-Security Printing (HSP) Latin America conference, several banknotes and banknote series were rewarded for their outstanding technical sophistication and excellence in design and security.

Counterfeit Stories

Coin World reports a “huge” counterfeiting bust in Spain leading to the arrest of 14 people and the seizure of fake €50 notes worth … €25,000.

Voice of America reports that the Central Bank of Myanmar attempts to counter rumours that newly printed authentic banknotes are counterfeit. Following the military coup in February 2021 and the introduction of European Union sanctions,  Giesecke+Devrient ceased supplying banknotes. It is unclear where Myanmar sources its notes.

The Manila Bulletin writes that the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) intensifies the prevention of counterfeiting. A joint investigation with law enforcement agencies has led to the arrest of four suspects and 161 counterfeit notes.

LAD Bible warns that fake 20-pound notes are in circulation in the UK after a video emerged, showing how a sticker was attached to a prop note to disguise what it is.

The Miami Herald reports that “A man got a little creative and led a counterfeit money scheme by using bleach, real $1 bills and a printer that he travelled with to create fake $100 bills totalling $235,000.” The man had already been convicted twice for counterfeiting was sentenced to five years in prison on March 14.

ATMIA announces retirement of CEO Mike Lee

ATMIA announced that after 21 years with ATMIA, CEO Mike Lee will be retiring from his position at the end of June. Mike has been an extraordinary advocate for the ATM industry and cash and will be missed dearly. In ATMmarketplace, Mike ranks his top three trends for the future of the sector:

  1.  Switching from transacting at ATMs with PIN and card to using mobile phones and apps for better, more secure ATM customer experiences.
  2. The growth of self-service hubs, as bank branches continue to close down in many important markets, and as banks transform digitally.
  3. Continued push-back against the silly notion of the cashless society, with cash finding its lasting niche as an indispensable store of value and a private, instantly effective payment choice for citizens in free societies.

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

This post is also available in: Spanish