April 18, 2014 --
By Richard Rahn
Institute for Global Economic Growth & Cato Institute senior fellow
Paper currency is dirty and is a major transmitter of disease as it goes from unwashed hand to unwashed hand. It is easily lost and stolen, and can be easily destroyed by getting wet or burned.
It physically wears out in a short time and is costly and troublesome to replace. So why do we still use the filthy stuff in the electronic age?
When given a choice, people find credit cards, debit cards and bank account electronic payments more convenient than cash. In many parts of the world, payments can be made from cellphone to cellphone, with the phone companies serving many of the functions of traditional banks. Money can be stored and transmitted from and to almost any form of computer.
Also various forms of electronic money can be made more secure than paper currency. Electronic monies and payment systems do not spread disease.
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