The global establishment is increasingly pushing the notion of what it calls a “cashless society” — a world in which all payments and transactions would be conducted electronically, creating a permanent record for governments to inspect and track at will. Multiple governments from Africa and Asia to Europe and the Americas are explicitly working toward that goal, and in recent months, even more have joined the effort. Powerful globalist forces and organizations including the United Nations are helping, too. However, analysts are warning that the implications of such a shift would be nightmarish for liberty and privacy.
Proponents of the government-enforced move away from physical currency cite a wide array of potential real and imagined benefits. Among them: possible reductions in armed robbery, tax evasion, black-market commerce, the cost of printing and securing physical cash, and more. Critics, though, are warning of the dangerous and Orwellian schemes that could be unleashed in a world where out-of-control governments can monitor literally every purchase, transaction, and bit of economic activity. In light of the recently exposed NSA snooping scandal, the possibilities for abuse and total surveillance are more than hypothetical, obviously.
As the supposed “debate” on the alleged merits of the controversial plot rages on, more than a few governments and central banks are already working hard to reduce reliance on cash among citizens and businesses. The end goal, as they openly admit, is an ultimate end to all cash transactions, supposedly ushering in a wonderful world of safety and flourishing digital commerce. The darker side is rarely discussed, but as the move toward a “cashless society” accelerates, critics are increasingly sounding the alarm.
Of course, advocates of abolishing cash have tried to portray the scheme as a natural and organic phenomenon driven largely on its own — a sort of “evolution” in human society, perhaps. In a July 2 propaganda feature by CNN, the “news” outfit even included a graphic purporting to show “The Evolution of a Cashless Society,” highlighting how far along each country is on the road to abolishing cash entirely. Apparently the United States is at a “tipping point” while Canada, Belgium, France, Sweden, and others are “almost cashless.” Other countries are either at the “inception” or “transitioning.”
In reality, though, the “trends” are hardly taking place on their own. Big Business has played a major role. Governments, meanwhile, are largely driving the plot with taxpayer funding. Controversial and deep-pocketed mega-foundations are helping to bankroll it all and build some semblance of public support. In September of 2012, for example, the Ford Foundation, which funds everything from “reproductive justice” to “sustainable development” schemes, unveiled what it called its “Better Than Cash Alliance.”
On its website, the scheme is described thus: “The Better Than Cash Alliance partners with governments, the development community and the private sector to empower people by shifting from cash to electronic payments.” Among the organizations involved in the radical partnership are the CIA-linked Ford Foundation, the American taxpayer-funded U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, bailed-out mega-bank Citi, credit card giant Visa, and more.
The United Nations is also at the heart of the plot, with the UN Capital Development Fund serving as the alliance’s “secretariat.” Other UN outfits involved in the scheme include the World Food Programme and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Several governments and official agencies are listed on the alliance’s website, too, including authorities in Malawi, Colombia, Kenya, Afghanistan, Peru, and the Philippines. Some nominally private aid agencies are also involved.
A key tactic in the scheme involves having partner regimes deliver welfare electronically. “We believe technology is a central tool in our collective efforts to broaden economic, social and political opportunity to even the poorest and most marginalized people,” said Ford Foundation boss Luis Ubiñas in announcing the anti-cash alliance. “Moving the public, private and development sector from cash to electronic payments is the first step in helping families not only to gain access to a formal financial system, but to save and build permanent financial assets.”
On its website, the UN Capital Development Fund also boasts of its ongoing schemes to attack cash. “Bringing about the shift to electronic payments on a global scale and ensuring that these benefits are maximized can be accelerated by an organization dedicated exclusively to providing global advocacy, knowledge sharing, collaboration and guidance on effective practices,” it says. The goal of the plan, the UN added, is to “encourage governments, development organizations and the private sector to commit to the digital transition, and facilitates [sic] the translation of these commitments into action.”
All over the world, the shift is indeed taking place. In May, under the guise of stopping tax evasion and black markets, Israeli authorities became the latest to join the push for curbing the use of cash in the economy. As part of the controversial plot to essentially abolish cash transactions in Israel, a committee led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s chief of staff, Harel Locker, finally unveiled its three-part plan. Among other tactics, it would ban cash transactions by businesses and individuals over a certain threshold, with the already-low limit to be reduced going forward. Violations would be a crime.
In the Third World, the anti-cash scheming appears to making massive inroads as well. On July 1 in Nigeria, for example, the so-called “cashless policy” — a 2012 plot by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Bankers’ Committee seeking to slash the amount of physical currency in circulation — went into effect in another 30 states. Under the scheme, cash withdrawals from banks for individuals and businesses are being severely limited. Huge fees to use cash are also going into effect.
Separately, the Nigerian central bank and commercial banks are also rolling out a massive new scheme to gather biometric data on customers. “We have launched the Bank Verification Number today, the timetable suggests that within 18 months, every customer would have been registered,” said central bank boss Lamido Sanusi while unveiling the biometric registration plot. “This is a day that we would remember for many reasons, not for where we are but where we are likely to get from here. Nobody can steal this identity except he or she steals my fingers.”
The trend is not new. As The New American reported in 2010, Swedish authorities have long been working fiendishly toward the goal of abolishing physical currency — and all economic privacy and anonymity by extension. Celebrities, bankers, bureaucrats, labor leaders, and more have all been agitating for a complete ban on cash. Already, Sweden is reportedly further down the road toward becoming a “cashless society” than any other nation, with around three percent of transactions conducted in cash.
It is hardly alone, though. In 2012, The New American highlighted an electronic payment system touted by Canadian authorities as “better than cash” and the “evolution of currency.” The Royal Canadian Mint was behind the controversial scheme, hosting a contest to get application developers — “North America’s best brain power,” it said in a video — on board in highlighting the supposed “potential benefits.” Under the plan, users were supposed to be able to use phones or other electronic devices to make even tiny transactions, all but eliminating the need for cash.
Indeed, all over the world, similar schemes are already underway. At the same time, the establishment has been openly promoting human micro-chipping for years, with the eventual goal of having each person “chipped” and able to use the device as an ID, a credit card, and more. In 2012, the U.S. government openly announced a plan to start micro-chipping troops, supposedly for “health” purposes. Prisoners are also often cited as a potential target “market.”
Of course, more than a few Christians have highlighted the prophetic implications. “And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name,” reads Revelation 13:17, one of the Bible verses frequently cited by critics of the cashless plot. Other opponents of the schemes point to the implications for privacy and security, especially in light of the NSA scandal as well as the FATCA and GATCA global tax regimes. In a “cashless society,” literally every transaction would be tracked. If the electricity grid went down, chaos would ensue. If a government decided to quash dissidents, it could cut them off from the economy.
The potential for mischief or worse is literally endless. Whether Americans and humanity will put up with it, though, remains to be seen.
Alex Newman, a foreign correspondent for The New American, is currently based in Europe. He can be reached at