As society begins to transform into a digital cashless world, many options of payment will no longer exist. This is happening most often on public transport, with many companies phasing out certain "outdated" cashless options, and some bus companies going cashless altogether.

This anti-consumer repertoire can be demonstrated with the lack of due diligence on the side of administrators in subject companies, compelling their customers to use none other than mobile phones for access on public transport.

Problem? If your phone's battery runs out, do you get refused entry? This may be okay if you have cash on you at the time, if bus companies are accepting cash, and that's a big if. Unfortunately, we should all be aware by now of what are known as CBDC's or Central Bank Digital Currency.

CBDC's may force people to use wireless technology to pay for anything – not just public transport, but groceries, electronics, and other items. There may be a phase where cards will be produced, replacing everyday debit or credit cards, but so far, public official announcements delay mention of this either out of compartmentalisation from the side of content creators or based on wilful ignorance of the consequences thereafter.

On the Bank of England's website, they claim, "Any UK CBDC would work alongside - not replace - cash and bank deposits. We will continue to provide cash for as long as the public still want it."

However, CBDC's are still in development, despite places like Sweden due to go completely cashless by March this year.

There are issues with a cashless society which most people conveniently ignore.

  • Cyber Threats paramount – when a society goes completely cashless, criminal activity will follow suit. Instead of a burglary, you get cyber thievery. It is already possible for cyber criminals to install a keylogging program onto your device and steal digital assets, and CBDC's will not be immune to this either. If you have cash in your pocket, you can still purchase food in the event of a cyber attack against your digital money.
  • Accountability – while digital money can be accounted for by a single central entity, would this single entity follow diligence where its due and protect the public from a widespread black-out? In the UK, it is already being suggested that black-outs and power cuts will be orchestrated to ease the power struggle in spite of increased bills. Furthermore, digital systems, including CBDC's, will no longer operate due to a lack of energy. Who becomes accountable for this?
  • Privacy – Privacy advocates will turn their attention to CBDC's when they become a clear threat to our right to privacy. Unfortunately, either those speaking out are silenced among the noise or the power just isn't there like it used to be. But it's more than just privacy. Human Freedom is a strange and curious expression which people will happily sacrifice for what they believe to be "security". Let's explain in further detail below.

On a so-called "Smart Card" which can be issued by a bus company, for example, all travel using the card is recorded on the companies' database. That means the subject company knows what bus you take, what time you get on the bus, what time you get off the bus, where you get off the bus, etc. People have sacrificed their freedom for this data to be stored by the subject bus company. With cash, no data is stored anywhere, therefore no information is recorded about the individual's behaviour.

Perhaps the blissful ignorance of the masses may help pave the way for increased scrutiny for the lack of attention to an individuals' freedom, but evidence remains to be seen that the convenience of these payment methods are a justifiable replacement for cash.

In any case, "Smart" cards and other like payment methods, are electronic forms of currency. They replace the means by which you can maintain some degree of freedom, if you have any at all.

Moreover, as demonstrated above, it is possible to determine behavioural patterns in an individual. With the rise of ChatGPT, it is becoming increasingly obvious how detailed artificial intelligence can effectively "read" a conversation like a human being and respond accordingly. This dangerous technology combined with profiles of behavioural patterns in individual's can make it impossible to navigate the world without being seen.

This sounds good for the sake of protecting society from criminals, but no doubt the term "criminal" will be labelled on people who simply express concern over how this technology would be used. Policing? Stopping peaceful protests before they happen? Stopping people from leaving their homes if they haven't been vaccinated, perhaps?

Drones circle populated areas already and we are accepting this technology which is becoming increasingly more sophisticated, and no doubt will be used for controlling people's behaviour, paving the way for an autonomous society in which its residents are under constant surveillance. The CBDC's will be the end of human freedom as we know it.