Yesterday, an Israeli law went into effect banning the use of cash in business transactions over 6,000 NIS ($1,700). Private cash transactions can’t exceed 15,000 NIS ($4,360). This is yet another escalation in the “war on cash.”
We’ve written extensively about the “war on cash.” In a nutshell, governments would love to do away with cash in order to better track and control their citizens. There have been numerous moves closer to a cashless society in recent years, from capping ATM withdrawals to doing away with large-denomination bills. Last year, China launched a digital yuan pilot program and the US has floated moving toward a digital dollar.
The People’s Bank of China was the first central bank to roll out a digital currency. The digital yuan recently got a boost when China’s biggest online retailer announced it has developed the first virtual platform to accept the Chinese digital currency.
Digital currency is nothing more than a virtual banknote or coin that exists in a digital wallet on your smartphone instead of a billfold or a purse. Digital currencies issued by central banks are backed by the state, just like traditional fiat currency.
Last summer, the Chinese government launched a pilot program for a digital version of the yuan. The virtual currency ups the ante in the war on cash and creates the potential for the government to track and even control consumer spending.
Last week, the digital yuan got a boost when China’s biggest online retailer announced it has developed the first virtual platform to accept the Chinese digital currency.