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http://www.virgin.com/entrepreneur/is-this-what-the-future-of-money-could-look-like

What if your payments were public?

In the social media age we are becoming more and more open about every aspect of our lives, with the way that we use our money being one of only a few exceptions. But what if every single transaction that you carried out was public?

What is the value of privacy in cash transactions and how natural is it ?

What would be the advantage in all money transactions being public ?

Can you apply the concept of privacy to a tribal society and if so, how does it manifest itself ?

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What you purchase is who you are and describes your lifestyle. These are considered to be very private and not to be shared with strangers. Purchasing 5 bottles of liquor and 2 packages of Viagra or Cialis a week may not be something that you would want to share with others.

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This seems like an "if you've got nothing to hide...." scenario designed by Orwell himself. Do you really want everyone to know your spending habits? How much you earn? How much and what kind of stuff you have in your house? If this knowledge became public then not only will the gov't be able to keep tabs on you with much higher precision but also marketers could use the info to target you for specific products and those with nefarious intentions could use that info to relieve you of your burdensome goods. This society is way too large and complex to be considered tribal.

I freely admit that I work for cash only, set my own hours and feel strongly about my privacy so this is a no-win proposition for me. I don't know anyone who would be ok with this and I have difficulty understanding why anyone would trade their privacy for an extra day off. If it were an option, then perhaps but anything other than voluntary consent in this area smacks of total information awareness.

Will we also get wireless cameras in our homes too? Why not? You've got nothing to hide, right?

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This seems like an "if you've got nothing to hide...." scenario designed by Orwell himself. Do you really want everyone to know your spending habits? How much you earn?

You missed the point - I set it up as a built-in advantage so you can weigh the trade-off.

I have heard that it's illegal in some jurisdictions to tell somebody your salary. Why do you think that is ?

I freely admit that I work for cash only, set my own hours and feel strongly about my privacy so this is a no-win proposition for me.

Right, so people like you are ripping off the system. Not you personally but people like you under-report and pay lower taxes. Cashless society will recoup the share of taxes that these people owe.

If it were an option, then perhaps but anything other than voluntary consent in this area smacks of total information awareness.

So what is your answer then ?

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What is the value of privacy in cash transactions and how natural is it?

Privacy has value for its own sake. You could argue that people don't need to have private apartments with private bathrooms because it would be do much more efficient to house people in dormitory style housing. Most people would object for no reason other than wanting privacy.

What would be the advantage in all money transactions being public ?

The value comes from transactions with legal relevance. One of the problems with many 3rd world countries is the lack of an uncorruptible land registry. A bitcoin like public block chain would provide a reliable record of who owns what and provide security to the billions of small land owners around the world.

I see no value in tracking transactions with no legal significance.

Edited by TimG
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You missed the point - I set it up as a built-in advantage so you can weigh the trade-off.

I have heard that it's illegal in some jurisdictions to tell somebody your salary. Why do you think that is ?

Right, so people like you are ripping off the system. Not you personally but people like you under-report and pay lower taxes. Cashless society will recoup the share of taxes that these people owe.

So what is your answer then ?

We already live in a cashless society. The amount of paper bills out there is far lower than the amount of digital notes. Being cashless won't resolve the issue with money being laundered or not reported for tax purposes. Ask how corps hide their money, you should be doing the same too, saves a bunch on taxes.

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I can see tracking transactions that involve governments or corporations that are spending the public's money they've been entrusted with..

All this can and will and already has been use

Will comment after I begin to understand the bitcoin process, prolification of the process and negative interest rates. :)

Bitcoin and other digital currencies are a little hard to wrap your brain around sometimes. The origins of Bitcoin specifically are quite grey and not understood, so that makes me a bit suspicious of Bitcoins. Other forms of digital currencies can be traced to an origin.

IF you understand the origins, then you can start to understand how it is used and why. Until then, I will avoid these types of currencies.

But you also hit on a point that some have been pointing out for some time. Negative interest rates. How does that work if it does at all? Does that mean I can take out a loan and at the end of paying it back I can be owed money?

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When you agree to have all your spending habit publicized, you get into a situation where you are now a product instead of a person. You are a vehicle in which advertising is geared to you on a very personal level. Essentially you have already signed up for these types of things via Air Miles and other point systems. Your habits are already public to private corps and government. I don't want to make it easier for them to sell me shit I don't need.

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Privacy has value for its own sake. You could argue that people don't need to have private apartments with private bathrooms because it would be do much more efficient to house people in dormitory style housing. Most people would object for no reason other than wanting privacy.

Sure, but there is a value there. It's not a moral black and white issue as some would tell it. In fact they get highly confused if you ask them questions that pry apart their relationship with things like privacy.

The value comes from transactions with legal relevance. One of the problems with many 3rd world countries is the lack of an uncorruptible land registry. A bitcoin like public block chain would provide a reliable record of who owns what and provide security to the billions of small land owners around the world.

I see no value in tracking transactions with no legal significance.

They track mouse clicks too - little things add up.

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When you agree to have all your spending habit publicized, you get into a situation where you are now a product instead of a person.

Interesting thought. I agree in asmuch as what 'you' are would change.

You are a vehicle in which advertising is geared to you on a very personal level. Essentially you have already signed up for these types of things via Air Miles and other point systems. Your habits are already public to private corps and government. I don't want to make it easier for them to sell me shit I don't need.

I don't subscribe to point systems as I don't want them tracking me, but that's my choice. My habits are only open as much as I give them the right. And there are advantages as you point out - such as points.

The thing is, if everybody knows something then there's no secrets - and people can't exploit that knowledge.

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Being cashless won't resolve the issue with money being laundered or not reported for tax purposes. Ask how corps hide their money, you should be doing the same too, saves a bunch on taxes.

Surely you're not saying that it's easy for the mob to hide money than corporations. Public companies have to publish their numbers to a degree, right ?

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It's not a moral black and white issue as some would tell it.

Well, it is generally accepted that there exists a 'right to privacy'. The only question is what the boundaries on this right are.

They track mouse clicks too - little things add up.

You completely missed the point.
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You missed the point - I set it up as a built-in advantage so you can weigh the trade-off.

Ok then, imo, not worth it

I have heard that it's illegal in some jurisdictions to tell somebody your salary. Why do you think that is ?

Talking about your salary is a little crude and possibly impolite but I have no idea why it would be illegal except in certain instances.

Right, so people like you are ripping off the system. Not you personally but people like you under-report and pay lower taxes. Cashless society will recoup the share of taxes that these people owe.

Going cashless is, to me, not the same as exposing ones' commercial habits and history to public perusal. Personally, I have made an offer to the CRA to implement the cashless status. I have no wish to rip off the system but according to their codes they have a hard time accepting it. So, we are in stalemate. *shrug*

So what is your answer then ?

As it stands, with so many ways to manipulate digits in an era of financial opportunism, it's a bad idea.

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Well, it is generally accepted that there exists a 'right to privacy'. The only question is what the boundaries on this right are.

Privacy is a right you can choose to give away though.

You completely missed the point.

I guess I did. You were talking about the significance of micro-transactions.

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I guess I did. You were talking about the significance of micro-transactions.

I was pointing out that, in some circumstances, public and verifiable transaction ledgers could do a lot of good. Specifically I was thinking of the 3rd world where property ownership records are easily forged by corrupt government officials.
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Surely you're not saying that it's easy for the mob to hide money than corporations. Public companies have to publish their numbers to a degree, right ?

Sure, and I have directly seen some of those numbers moved and fudged to accomplish some sense of budget. We have seen the numbers get published, but how much faith do you put in those numbers? Sure criminal mobs can hide money somewhat better, but then they are good at laundering the money. Like opening a legit storefront to hide the criminal activities kind of like in a Breaking Bad scenario. Law enforcement is also partial to blame as in some cases they will turn a blind eye. We have corruption among the corps and corruption among law enforcement and corruption in government, and no one wants to bring these people to trial. It's nice we see Duffy getting pounded, but I believe it is a distraction and a feel good scenario to make it look like our government is effective in prosecuting fraud.

I doubt even the nation's numbers have the accuracy we are looking for.

Edited by GostHacked
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