Yves Mersch has voiced his support for cash in response to the ongoing cashless campaigns led by power-hungry companies and governments. In his 'spirited defence of cash,' the European Central Bank executive board member reminds listeners that cash protects 'privacy, equality and security,' in a way that "no viable alternative" can.
Don't be fooled by techno-fanatics predicting that contactless, mobile, smart, and cryptocurrency will be the death of cash. Yves Mersch points out that come rain or shine, 'cash always works' while technology malfunctions can often be the downfall of non-cash options. When there's a blackout or a natural disaster, people always turn to cash in order to buy food, water, medicine and other basic necessities.
"Reports of the death of cash are greatly exaggerated."
Excerpt from Finextra article
In a speech hosted by Deutsche Bundesbank, Mersch acknowledged the trend away from physical money, revealing that five EU member states - Cyprus, Bulgaria, Belgium, Portugal and Denmark - approached the ECB last year to consult on measures to limit the use of cash.
"Protection of privacy matters to all of us. Privacy protects people from the risk of a surveillance state and thought police. No particular link can be established statistically between cash and criminal activities. The focus must be on the fight against crime. Cash must not be made the scapegoat," he told his audience...
"...printed euro banknotes will retain their place and their role in society as legal tender for a very long time to come. There is no viable alternative to euro cash..."
But Mersch is insistent on cash's value as legal tender, throwing particular scorn on the argument that its anonymity helps criminals.
Staff writer. 'ECB launches staunch defence of cash'. Finextra. Published February 15, 2018. Accessed February 15, 2018.
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