The full audio version of “The Case for Electronic Cash” by Jerry Brito.
Cash is more than a method of payment. It is a fundamental tool for individual privacy and autonomy, and it is necessary for an open society. This paper shows that a cashless economy is a surveillance economy. It also argues that removing the option to freely transact without intermediation greatly limits our economic self-determination, placing our economic lives in the hands of financial institutions and governments. This paper presents several case studies demonstrating the dangers of a completely intermediated payments system and concludes that electronic cash is a tool that should not only be tolerated, but fostered and celebrated.