After the subprime crisis, it was reported that debt-riddled 20 - and 30 - somethings tried to turn their lives around by moving to a cash-only existence. No credit card or online purchases.
According to Hilary Stout of The New York Times, other Americans were also contemplating switching to an all-cash lifestyle after high-profile cyber thefts at major retailers like Target were widely known.
According to Tufts University professors, Bhaskar Chakravorti and Benjamin Mazzotta, the use of cash costs the US economy $200 billion per year. The study did not compare the relative costs of cash v. plastic (or other alternatives), but $200 billion per year is a fairly staggering number.
For an individual, the losses come in the form of additional fees they have to bear and loss of opportunity costs. For businesses, the loss comes in the form of theft. For governments, the loss mostly comes in the form of lost tax revenue. Here's a breakdown:
$3.66 more in fees. $54.56 in lost interest or $1,300 in lost investment income.
$0.05 on every dollar a business receives in sales revenue goes to prevent theft of its cash.
The US government loses at least $100 billion a year in tax revenue.
The Tufts researchers found that on average, Americans waste 28 minutes a day traveling to and from an ATM. That is 170 hours a year. Much of that time could have been spent on something more useful like leisure.
Based on the US mean person hour wage, 170 hours wasted a year going to and from the ATM to draw cash translates to a loss of $31 billion annually. This is indicative of just how much time is spent dealing with cash.
Researchers from the Wright Patterson Medical Center recently asked a large sample of shoppers at a grocery store to swap out the dollar bills they were holding with clean ones.
After analyzing the old dollar bills, they got the following results:
Eighty-seven percent (87%) of the dollar bills were contaminated with bacteria that could cause an infection in anyone particularly those with a compromised immune system, such as people with HIV or cancer.
Seven percent (7%) of the dollar bills had bacteria that could cause an infection in perfectly healthy people.
Only 6% of the dollar bills were free of harmful bacteria.
In 2014, British researchers compared ATMs to Public Toilets and found that ATM machines were as heavily contaminated with bacteria as nearby public lavatories.
A 2015 University of Chicago study confirmed that robberies were more concentrated around businesses that did most of their business in cash.
Research points out there are strict limits on how much you can withdraw from an ATM or a bank. Plus the more money you're carrying, the more cumbersome it is to hold it. "You don't want to be carrying a bag of money into say Best Buy to buy a flat-screen TV".
Susan Grant, the director of consumer protection at the Consumer Federation of America, says that if people want peace of mind, they must minimize the amount of cash they carry around.
Buying online means no cash. Furthermore, it's much easier to keep track of purchases by paying with credit cards, debits cards or other direct transfer means as you don't have to manage a bunch of paper receipts.
U.S stores lose around $40 billion dollars to cash theft.
For businesses the cost of mitigating a potential loss of $40 billion dollars to cash theft runs to $0.05 on every dollar of a business's average sales revenue. This cost will no doubt be passed on to those of their customers who choose to pay in cash in the form of fees or no discounts.
The Tufts University professor's studies havee shown that the US government loses at least $100 billion annually in foregone tax revenue from cash transactions.
Non cash transactions basically is the only way you'll ever be able to build a credit history to qualify for a loan when you need one. This is perhaps the most immediate benefits of not using cash.
The Tufts University researchers found that those wihtout access to credit cards, debit cards or other digital payment facilities pay on average about $3.66 more per month in fees than those who do have access, and are nearby four times as likely to face higher fees.
African Americans for instance are more than twice as likely, as measured by the logit coefficient (2.2), to pay for access to cash. It seems that the costs of cash is disproportionately borne by poorer people who have less access to digital payment facilites.
A digital crypto-currency (or crypto currency) is a digital token (medium) of exchange that can be used for various types of transactions. Cryptography is used to validate and secure the transactions as well as to regulate the numbers of the particular cryptocurrency that is available for use at any point in time.
A complex computer encrypted code called a private signature key (psk) is combined with an equally complex computer encrypted code called the public key (pk) to control the 'proper use of a cryptocurrency'. The private key identifies ownership of the cryptocurrency. Cryptocurrencies can be stored in your own computer, a portable storage devise or even written down on paper, however, if you wish to use them in online or real world transactions, you'll have to move them online to an electronic storage facility generally referred to as a "wallet". These "wallets" are usually provided for profit by companies who are not necessarily the same companies who created the particular cryptocurrency.
Cryptocurrencies are classified as a subset of digital currencies and are also classified as a subset of alternative currencies and virtual currencies. The most well-known cryptocurrency to date is Bitcoin.
Bitcoin was created in 2009 by one or more persons going by the false name of Satoshi Nakamoto. Bitcoin is considered by many to be the first decentralized cryptocurrency. Since then, numerous cryptocurrencies have been created - each claiming to be better than the other. As of September 2017, over a thousand cryptocurrency specifications exist.
Cryptocurrencies are frequently called altcoins (alternative coins) and can exist in both centralized and decentralized forms. The centralized form is generally more difficult to support as it generally requires the creator to act in the capacity of a buyer of last resort. Bitcoin and most of the cryptocurrencies available now are in decentralized form and are supposed to be self-regulated through computer code used to create them.
Cryptocurrencies were originally created for the more convenient settlement of online, electronic transactions on a cashless basis. However, bitcoin and in particular some newer cryptocurrencies have become popular investments as well. People who have had purchased some of these newly launched cryptocurrencies when they were first released, have seen their investments appreciate by thousands of percentage points.