The Italian Government is trying to get rid of cash

Italy’s Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte believes that the transparency provided by digital payments can do a lot of good for the country.

Local finance news outlet Il Sole24Ore reported on Sept. 8 that Conte believes that digital payments would result in the financial system being “faster, more transparent and traceable which in perspective means … recovering the shadow economy.” He explained that all this could result in lower taxes for all of Italy:

“[This plan will] disincentivize undeclared payments. As a consequence, we’re building the basis for the objective of the entire government, which is to have everyone pay [taxes], but have them pay less.”

Not everyone is convinced

White hat hacker and co-founder of crypto-focused digital rights nonprofit Paralelni Polis Pavol Luptak pointed out that traceable digital payments “can decrease tax evasion if the government forces most people to use them.” Still, he believes that this is not as easy as it sounds:

“Italy’s Prime Minister is probably not aware of untraceable crypto payments (e.g. anonymous crypto-currencies, ‘digital cash’). In this situation, governments or banks cannot track anonymous crypto payments, and they will be used for tax evasion.”

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The cashless society from an ethical point of view

The debate about the move towards a cashless society has been at the center of the scene for several years, now. Various angles have been taken by economists, politicians, banking institutions and sociologists. Beyond the technicalities of the debate, lies the question of freedom, of inter-citizen solidarity and of governmental responsibility. The debate cannot remain in the hands of financial specialists, it is first and foremost an ethical, political and societal issue.

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