We are often told that the move towards a cashless society is 'natural progress', but there is seldom reference to the powerful groups that are vigorously pushing for it. What happens when physical money is replaced completely by digital transactions? In the great battle for global monopolization, different 'watchers' are trying to capture and hoard data. Google has search patterns revealing your desires, fetishes and intellectual interests. Facebook has a treasure trove of its users' special moments and projections of vanity. Yet, if we really want to see what a person is motivated to act upon in society, we should examine their payments data. In our large-scale modern economies, a significant amount of a person's life is spent buying things, and this data provides a clear idea of their priorities, habits and beliefs. However, the great information firewall is being completely offline, leaving data black holes. In Cloudmoney, Brett Scott uncovers a long-established lobbying infrastructure set up by an alliance of partners, including financial institutions, governments and international agencies, to wage a covert cold war against cash. Who benefits from a cashless society and who is left behind? And will the departure of cash also signal the departure of true privacy?
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