The UK on its way to Cashless Society?

With the recent increase in contactless transactions with both credit cards and mobile applications, alongside the mass closure of local bank branches and ATM’s due to the pandemic; are we becoming a cashless society?

Recently on the 13th of March the price of Bitcoin against the US Dollar rose to $60,000, the highest it’s ever been since its creation in 2009. Since the start of the year the price of Bitcoin has nearly tripled. However, the price of Bitcoin saw a sharp decline shortly afterwards, from the 14th March onwards. This highlights its volatility since it has no intrinsic value, and the valuation depends on community involvement and investment. The problem with this is that, should a group of Bitcoin owners choose to sell a portion of their assets while the exchange rate is high, this can lead to volatility in the market which can cause the price of Bitcoin to drop. Part of the reason why Bitcoin is so valuable because of its supposed ₿21,000,000 limit. (This limit refers to the maximum number of Bitcoin that can currently exist). However, critics are sceptical as theatrically more units could be generated leading to inflation in the market, as the price of Bitcoin decreases due to value being decreased.

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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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