As many readers realize, there has been a global movement pushing the nations gradually into a cashless society. That movement just hit a roadblock, and its name is Germany. As the first link reports, the German population is very disinclined (to say the least) about adopting a cashless society. As we have just witnessed in the Greek debt crisis negotiations, Germany is essentially in charge of Europe’s financial future at present so the opposition of Germans to a cashless society matters a great deal.
The first link reports that “In Germany, abandoning cash is nothing short of heresy,” and adds a remarkable detail that a German Central Bank study revealed that two-thirds of Germans don’t even own a credit card (such is their aversion to debt and digital money of any kind). It also adds that the revelations about mass NSA spying on electronic affairs of all kinds has “fueled distrust” of financial electronic records. Those revelations have likely affected the views of many people in many nations, not just in Germany. I was also surprised to learn in this link that almost half of all Americans don’t own any credit cards, so Americans would also be averse to any cashless society. In contrast, Sweden and the United Kingdom are nations where credit card usage is high.
For balance, I included the second link which argues that Germany is headed for a cashless society. However, that source includes an advertisement for bitcoin in is text so it isn’t purely a “news” story. The first link carries much more weight, in my view. The third link does report that Denmark is favorable to a cashless society. However, it is Germany that is now “calling the shots” in Europe regarding the EU’s financial matters, and Germans adamantly don’t want a cashless society. The spectacle of Greeks lining up for weeks to withdraw meager amounts of currency from ATMs has also likely lessened the trust of millions of Europeans in a cashless society. It demonstrated graphically that if there is no in-hand currency, one could end up with no access one’s money in the banking system in any cashless society. What happened in Greece could happen just about anywhere else too.
Many Christian observers have expected a cashless society to develop, based on the prophecy of Revelation 13:16-17; however, it is possible that too much has been read into that prophecy. I think the deep German preference for currency over digital money is that Germany has a deep-seated mistrust of runaway inflation due to the wild monetary inflation that occurred in the Wiemar Republic—which led to Hitler’s dictatorship and the ruin of Germany. With a purely digital money system, there could be runaway monetary inflation by governmental and banking leaders with little evidence “on the street”‘ that it was occurring. This is already happening in the USA, where the monetary base has been wildly inflated by the US Federal Reserve Board via “quantitative easing” a euphemism for a wild increase in the money supply. However, since this wild increase in the supply of US dollars is in digital form, it has largely gone unnoticed by the masses.
Given the advances in RFID technology and other forms of tracking mechanisms, it is entirely possible that the world will never go to a cashless society where there is no actual currency. One can envision a world where there is plenty of currency, but where it is embedded with RFID tracking chips that would signal authorities about currency transactions or accumulations above a certain threshold. Perhaps that is how Revelation 13:16-17 will be fulfilled. The powers-that-be aren’t concerned with people using currency to buy groceries, gas for their cars and other routine expenses. None of these currency usages represent any threat to the power of the elites. Indeed, the global corporations want to encourage people to spend money regularly. It may be that Revelation 13:16-17’s prophecy will be fulfilled by regulations from a future “beast” power that will want to monitor cash flows and purchases over certain levels. Its is still possible a cashless (currency-free) society will be imposed under the beast system when there is sufficient chaos after the fall of the current Babylon the Great system (as prophesied in Revelation 17-18) to dramatically alter current realities, but for now a global cashless society is not likely to occur as long as Germany–the financial powerhouse of Europe–is strongly opposed to it.