Will a Cashless Economy be the death knell for numismatics?
26 members have voted
1. Will a Cashless Economy be the death knell for numismatics?
Yes, already an aging populace for collectors and the elimination of pocket change will inhibit new, young collectors.6
Yes, but I think it will be decades before we are cashless3
Numismatics is becoming gentrified anyhow3
No, there will still be enough issues and interest to keep collectors involved10
No, the end of annual billions of new coins will spur people to start collecting the discontinued coinage.4
Will the coming cashless commerce system be the end of numismatics? Certainly it will affect the number of "business strike" issued coins but will the hobby continue to persevere with Bullion issues and the dozens of commemorative and proof issues annually?
I was perusing some news headlines recently and 2 separate but seemingly related stories caught my attention---
The first story had to do with a new record-low physical currency decline worldwide. The global, physical currency has dropped down to an amazing 8.2% of all of the world's money. In certain countries such as Sweden and smaller municipalities in other countries, cash or paper money has pretty much become obsolete. Many other issues are causing this also. We now have the alternative payment methods of Bitcoin, Apple Pay and I even paid for a new Bose speaker at Office Depot with my paypal balance. Obviously credit and debit cards are the largest intrusion upon the domain of cash, but it is apparent that the trend appears to be that technology is grindingly eliminating the greenback.
I read also recently where we are essentially in a "Retail Apocalypse" as the old brick and mortar stores are closing by the tens of thousands. Coin collectors saw this happen a decade+ ago as the old-time coin shoppes of our youth have mostly disappeared and on-line webpages, weekly auctions and Ebay have made purchasing coins cash free and incredibly convenient. Amazon and on-line ordering are burgeoning almost in direct proportion to every Sears, Radio Shack, JC Penney and Macy's that shutters it's doors.
The second story I read on that same news page was also similar in that it portends the death of cash. It appears that the VISA corporation was offering several hundred businesses/restaurants a monetary reward if they go completely cashless. Yes, the push is on to not just have alternative payment choices and credit but to actually eliminate cash.
There can be no arguing that banks would love the elimination of cash and the ability to get a cut of every transaction ( often a cut from both buyer and seller!.) The governments of the world wouldn't mind the added revenue either as billions slip through their fingers annually when people have simple bake sales, yard sales, cash for an old riding mower or paying someone to paint your house or plant a few trees. Anyone with a cell phone could do the money transfer seamlessly. For those without phones ( yes, there are still some adults without phones) it would be fiscally prudent for governments to provide cheap phones.
Of course this brings up many discussions concerning everything from National ID's, implanted chips to protect from fraud, the potential tyrranical implications of having all transactions monitored electronically and the ability of TPTB to "cut you off" for whatever reason ( from back taxes, child support or political leanings.) Surely this is a slippery slope but there is little doubt that there is also great upside from eliminating counterfeiting of currency, armed robberies would decline, much of the illegal street drug industry is done with cash and cash is just plain dirty.
My personal opinion is that the days of physical money are numbered. I do think that the US Mint will continue in business as proofs, commemoratives and even a limited mintage of mint set/MS coins would be produced to satiate the demand of collectors ( as long as it is profitable to produce them.)
I noticed that the journals now allow for polls so I'd be interested in the thoughts of my fellow numismatists......are we going the way of the dinosaurs?