"Money - in the traditional sense no longer exists. It died two decades ago
when Richard Nixon forever abolished the gold standard. Since then, money as we once knew
it has been replaced by an unstable new global medium of exchange that is called 'megabyte
money'... megabyte money is a threat not only to our country's long-term growth and
prosperity, but to the individual as well."
- Joel Kurtzman, The Death Of Money, 1993
During 1995 we saw some of the most profound changes that the world has ever known move
out from the shadows of secrecy and intense preparation. The world of finance led the way
in such changes. The most basic area of finance presently undergoing massive change is the
very means by which transactions take place - the use of money itself.
We all have used paper to obtain goods and services that we need and desire but have we
ever thought about why the use of paper in the form of bank notes entitles us to cars and
entertainment and food and shelter? The only way that paper with writing on it can entitle
us to goods and services is through our faith in the ability of the Reserve
Bank, the government, or private individual to redeem or back that paper with something of
What if you were told that you would no longer be able to use that paper and would be
forced to rely upon electronic technology for every single transaction you were to
Would this make you more efficient in the manner in which you conducted your
Would you be pleased to no longer carry paper or coins? How would this affect your freedom
and privacy? The following investigation looks at these questions and reveals the alarming
dangers to individual freedom posed by the drive toward a cashless
The Gradual Replacement of Cash
Kevin SigRift, a U.S. economist at Norwest Corp., says there are many products now
available to the general public that are ushering in the use of electronic money in favor
of its paper counterpart. "Certainly there are jumps in technology that have
facilitated this. For instance, a product that we market at Norwest is a debit
card. It is
a Visa Card (credit) but it's a debit card, so the money comes out of your checking
account," he explained.
The card Mr. SigRift described is a fairly common bank card that allows you to spend
your own money from an account you hold and with that same card being able to charge an
item while shopping. Mr. SigRift said these cards are being used more
"This year  across the country, Visa's volume
(the number of times that the
Visa Card is used) is up massively. Check writing is up only two percent in
There has been a structural shift from checks to debit cards and credit
cards," he said.
Is the convenience of a card that prevents you from going through your pocket fumbling
for paper bills and loose change and at the same time allows you to borrow money in an
instant worth the interest payment? What if you were able to do all of your banking and
purchase from your home? Would your participation in a cashless society then be
"Nothing would suit me better than to have some route that would allow me to
transfer funds from my bank account to somebody else with the touch of a button from my PC
(Personal Computer) so that I could do all my banking by sitting in front of my
could do it on the spot instead of having to write out checks," said Al
vice president and principal economist for NationsBank. Mr. Smith sees the move toward a
totally electronic economy as a sign of the times, a choice of a new
"I think there is an age difference. Most older people don't even know how to
type, but the 20 and 30 year-olds think nothing of sitting in front of a PC and typing
something and keeping a record. I think the age difference is slowing the transition (from
cash to electronic currency) but we are moving pretty rapidly into an age where the chip
is the king and check is passe," he said.
The chip that Smith mentioned is the vehicle being used to drive the world into an
electronic economy. The June 27, 1994 edition of Fortune magazine spoke of its
role: "The heart of this new economy is the tiny microprocessor, the
transistor-packed silicon chip that combines with clever software and laser optics to make
possible what we globally call the Information Age."
Not everyone is enthralled by some of the ramifications of the Information
Richard of the San Diego based National Centre for Financial Education, sees little reason
to switch to a cashless system and is concerned about it. Mr. Richard's group provides
investment, financial and spending information to the public.
"The real danger is too heavy a hand watching over your
life. It's nobody's
business where you spend your money so long as you earn it legally. No government entity
should know where you spend money for groceries," he said.
The government would be able to monitor purchases, spending habits and businesses
patronized, Mr. Richard explained. People have concerns about the misuse of such
extensive, personal information, he said, adding, "It's really frightening when you
think about it."
Matt Ziebro, manager for Operation Strategy
magazine, a monthly financial magazine, said that the move from cash to electronic money is a part of a well-organized
attempt to unify the world and control it through its currency. He said the media and
government are playing a role in the move to a cashless world and that the government has
a history of creating so-called "bad guys" in order to enact certain legislation
or influence the public to call for major changes.
Mr. Ziebro cites the "smart card" that will be used as a form of electronic
money that has other uses that border on the invasion of privacy. "The
are ready to go. They are able to store information on a credit card with the use of a
microchip. The 'smart card' would then hold your bank account, all of your identifying
information, everything about you...," he said.
While large purchases have been the domain of credit
cards, small purchases are to be
targeted by the so-called 'smart cards' or "stored-value cards".
"Store-value cards have a microchip embedded in them that allows the cards to
'load' money at a bank machine and dispense it through a retailer's equipment at the point
of sale," writes Jim Silver in The Australian, 22/8/95. "The goal is to
get people to use the new cards for purchases such as fast food, bridge or mass transit
tolls and vending-machine items," he adds.
In the future, there will be no need to stop at a
tollway. Your special vehicle-mounted transponder, which contains a microchip or a slot for a
'smart card', will be
automatically read and an amount deducted when you pass under highway
scanners. Other 'smart cards', already developed in Australia, enable you to make a purchase by simply
tapping your card on a retailers card-reader. The enclosed microchip and antennae
"talks" via radio signals to the card-reader and deducts the required
Who's behind the production of 'smart cards'? According to a report in Bloomberg,
"A coalition of United States financial services and technology companies plans to
use leading banks to develop stored-value cards that can replace cash for small
purchases. MasterCard, 11 banks and two technology companies... said they would form
company that would develop and distribute stored-value cards." A more apt description
might be a coalition of various agents of the 'New World Order' seeking to monopolise the
distribution of this latest mod-con of control!
Possibly the most frightening aspect of the movement toward a cashless society is the
emergence of technology that would allow a microchip to be placed in the human hand that
would identify every human being on the planet and allow them to buy and sell without
coins, paper or a card.
One expert on this new "biochip" technology charged that the
will introduce a national I.D. card, supposedly to end illegal
immigration, that will
extend into commercial activity. This card will be the last step before the government
will move to place a biochip in the right hand of every American, said Terry
retired Los Angeles deputy sheriff and a former fraud investigator.
Already throughout the world, a number of biochip programs have been instituted on
animals. In Los Angeles, the name of the program is INFOPET. In this program an
is injected into animals in order to identify them. The chip is made by a Destron company
based in Boulder, Colorado. Destron was taken over by Hughes Aircraft
Corp. of southern California. Hughes is a major defense contractor of the
U.S. government. Destron also has
licensed computer giant Texas Instruments. These are the two largest manufacturers of this
type of technology in the world.
Convenience or conspiracy, you decide. But like it or not the cashless society is on
its way. Those who still disbelieve should go through their records asking
"How did I make my last purchase, cash or credit?"