Hacker News new | comments | show | ask | jobs | submit login

The example of your son's school is fine, but imagine that your son lives in another country. Cash has other problems beside being slow. It's insecure - a person could steal your $20 bill from your mailbox or his, or from the Post Office. It's untraceable - if your son's school says "We never got your payment" but your son swears he gave them the cash, you're stuck in a situation where either your son or the school is ripping you off (I'm sure your son would never do that). And last, it takes both time and money to convert cash to another currency. Taking the cash to somewhere where a person can convert it to the preferred currency is bad enough, and then it costs you money on top of it.

> It's untraceable

Feature of cash, not a bug. It's not the best choice for every situation, but neither is digital, which is why it's important that people have both options available.

Yeah, the ability to make payments outside of the scope of the panopticon is one of the better arguments in favor of cash and against a completely cashless society.

I'd like to think that in time someone will solve this too by some kind of clever obfuscation, but it's not going to be BoA doing it. It's going to be someone who wants to fuck with their status as a state-sponsored usurer. Or at least I hope.

Also consider Bitcoin as a "cashless society" alternative to the financial panopticon - no one's looking over your shoulder there and it's definitely not "cash".

I'm skeptical about Bitcoin as a potential alternative because I suspect that, if you combine the surveillance abilities of the state and the money of the state with the time and effort of the very many clever people who work for the state, Bitcoin will become substantially less anonymous.

Usually traceable unless you use a tumbler to "clean" your coins, even then it's still traceable I think

If it's digital, it's traceable. If it passes through DARPA wires, or FCC waves, it's traceable. There are ways to obfuscate. But never completely like an 'air-gapped', transaction wherein I hand a cashier $5 in exchange for ice cream.

I'm clearly in the 'it's nobody's business except for the parties involved' party...


'Cashless' as in 'cash is illegal' terrifies me. It's nothing more than a force multiplier for the power brokers (banks, govs, etc.).

There will always be corruption, theft, etc. But in one scenario, anyone can do it. In another, only the third (one) party can do it. Tell me which is better, oh starry-eyed Valley dreamer?

Its virtually untraceable. There are ways to find out if the note was new and released by the bank only to that person etc.

Which is why the tinfoil me gets change before doing tinfoil purchases xD

That's why you always get a receipt when you pay in cash - it serves as proof that you paid.

You should be living in some other universe. Most of the corruption stems from the fact that cash transaction history can be spoofed easily. There is no way to link cash with your identity linked to the tax systems. With digital payment, all the payments to/from will be linked to a taxable entity.

True enough, but this wasn't in the context of taxes - it was about avoiding getting ripped of by paying cash then having an entity claim you never paid them. Receipts are still good for this - signed receipts even better.

I've always wondered about the "don't send cash through the mail" thing. How do corrupt postal workers detect cash inside a birthday card?

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact