ZeroHedge is reporting that the European Union is now seriously considering the elimination of their 500 euro note.
At first glance, this would not seem to be a very important move, and they may even have real reasons to consider the elimination of this high-value note: terrorism, crime, tax evasion, and money laundering.
In the US, there is likewise a growing clamor to eliminate our own high-value note, the 100 dollar bill. While it’s unlike that many regular people are using 500 euro notes with any regularity, the the 100 dollar bill is not at all an uncommon sight in people’s wallets.
Some fear that the reason for the push to eliminate these high-value notes is in a broader campaign to eliminate cash altogether and to force people to use electronic currencies in the form of debit and credit cards, bank transfers, PayPal, and the like.
What’s the advantage? Total surveillance of your financial assets, receipts, and payments. Just like with your browsing history and call history, the government would know just how much you have and what you spend it on.
More importantly, they would be able to deny you the ability to send your money to certain people, places, or charities. They could even freeze your accounts and leave you with no assets at all – just look at what police departments around the nation are doing with civil asset forfeiture.
The government has legitimate roles that we need them to fulfill, including roads, firefighters, defense, education, etc. Unfortunately, it’s in the nature of organizations to try to grow and to become more powerful, exceeding their original purpose and frequently defeating the reason for the own existence. More than that, the government frequently ends up being cozy with and captured by the very institutions they are supposed to protect us against.
The argument that they need to get rid of large-denomination bills to protect us from crime and money laundering leads me to ask the question who they are really protecting and what from: They are protecting the banks from runs on their assets and themselves from the ability of people to transact without the knowledge and approval of the government.
One end game, as laid out in the article at ZeroHedge is to finally move all bank assets to a negative interest rate. If you have to have your assets with a bank, and if it costs you money to keep your assets with them, then you will spend your money before you have less of it. Your financial future will be sacrificed on the altar of monetary velocity.
This is the reason that we need financial alternatives. This is the reason that Bitcoin is making inroads. It is money beyond government. It is money that protects your privacy and freedoms.