Archive | War on Cash

EU to allow freezes of bank deposit withdrawals?

As Europe moves towards a cash free society there are worrying signals from the EU…

European Union states are considering measures which would allow them to temporarily stop people withdrawing money from their accounts to prevent bank runs, an EU document reviewed by Reuters revealed.

This is a practice used e.g. in Greece and Cyprus in times of financial turbulence. (In Cyprus the government also confiscated parts of the peoples’ bank deposits, a so called »haircut«.)

The official reason – to prevent bank runs – might be logical. But so far the reasons have rather been national financial difficulties, stemming from local economies being linked to the single European currency, the Euro.

And the Euro-crisis is far from over. The idea of fixing totally disparate economies to one exchange rate and one interest rate is still very problematic. And the European Central Bank, the ECB, is still trying to save the Euro by various stimulus packages and by indirectly printing more money. Without a doubt, more problems lie ahead.

This leaves the average citizen powerless. Your money is no longer yours – but the governments to be used as a financial tool. (Or to be confiscated.)

Thus reducing the independent citizen to a serf.


Reuters: EU explores account freezes to prevent runs at failing banks »


Falkvinge on the War on Cash

Would you like your government to have more insight into your personal finances than you have yourself? That’s where we’re heading with the ongoing “war on cash” – into a world where every transaction is not just loggable by the government (or a government-coerced agent), but where you can also be held responsible for anything and everything you buy and sell.

Falkvinge: The war on cash being justified as “necessary against organized crime” is the worst excuse ever »


EU to end Bitcoin anonymity

Today, the European Commission has released details on the new EU Anti-Money Laundering Directive – aiming at combating terrorist financing. Among the details, we find some disturbing news on digital currencies such as Bitcoin:

Tackling terrorist financing risks linked to virtual currencies: to prevent misuse of virtual currencies for money laundering and terrorist financing purposes, the Commission proposes to bring virtual currency exchange platforms and custodian wallet providers under the scope of the Anti-Money Laundering Directive. These entities will have to apply customer due diligence controls when exchanging virtual for real currencies, ending the anonymity associated with such exchanges;


Anonymity is not a crime!

But then, again, this is not really about terrorism. It’s about giving the government control over your money.

Then we have this blow to all those terrorists shopping around for missiles…

Tackling risks linked to anonymous pre-paid instruments (e.g. pre-paid cards): the Commission also proposes to minimise the use of anonymous payments through pre-paid cards, by lowering thresholds for identificationfrom €250 to €150 and widening customer verification requirements. Proportionality has been taken into account, with particular regard paid to the use of these cards by financially vulnerable citizens;

Again, this will only make life more complicated for ordinary, law-abiding citizens.

And there will be cross-border control of all bank accounts:

Give Financial Intelligence Units swift access to information on the holders of bank- and payment accounts, through centralised registers or electronic data retrieval systems.

“Centralised registers.” Like in total control.

This might come in handy for our governments when the next Euro crisis calls for a citizen haircut – like when Cyprus confiscated parts of people’s bank savings.

Your money is no longer yours. You are no longer free.


European Commission:
• Commission strengthens transparency rules to tackle terrorism financing, tax avoidance and money laundering »
• Questions and Answers: Anti-money Laundering Directive »

Related reading: Bargeld ist Freiheit »


The War on Cash

Holger Steltzner in Frankfurter Allgemeine...

Beim Feldzug gegen das Bargeld geht es um mehr als das Bezahlen. Ginge es nur darum, könnte man die Leute einfach selbst entscheiden lassen, wie sie künftig zahlen wollen. Es geht um das Ende von Privatheit und selbstbestimmter Entscheidung, um Lenkung von Verhalten und um den Zugriff auf das Vermögen. Der Bevormundung des Bürgers wäre in einer solchen Welt keine Grenze gesetzt, Geld wäre kein privates Eigentum mehr. Der Übergewichtige könnte mit seiner Karte auf einmal die Kalorienbombe nicht mehr zahlen, der Alkoholiker sich die Weinflasche nicht mehr besorgen, und am „Veggie Day“ dürfte man mit seinem Smartphone kein Fleisch mehr kaufen. Der Zugriff des Fiskus auf das Konto des Bürgers wäre selbstverständlich. Und in totalitären Staaten gäbe es kein Entrinnen vor Überwachung und Unterdrückung. (…)

Andere Motive sind für den Krieg gegen Cash wichtiger, aber über sie wird weniger geredet. Hier kommen die Notenbanken ins Spiel, auch die Europäische Zentralbank, deren Präsident Draghi schon laut darüber nachdenkt, wie er am besten die Abschaffung der 500-Euro-Note kommuniziert, die der EZB-Rat noch gar nicht beschlossen hat. Ohne Bargeld wären die Bürger den Negativzinsen der Zentralbanken ausgeliefert. Davon träumen auch viele Finanzminister und keynesianische Ökonomen.

Bargeld ist Freiheit » | Google Translate »

Update: Translation to Swedish in the comments, thanks to Christian Engström.