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Apr 15, 2012

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1.

10 year from now, the fountain at the open square in down town that use to have coins in the water, will hvae micro chips and USBs floating on the surface instead.

2.

With so much money being handled digitally anyway, this must seem a great idea. You have the equivalent of cash plus you get an audit trail.

It only takes one security breach, though, and the whole thing will fall apart before you can say "dupe bug". I hope they're careful...

Richard

3.

Bah. Those snow-backs are chasing the Ikea making Swedes on this front:

http://news.yahoo.com/sweden-cash-king-no-more-082544562.html

In most Swedish cities, public buses don't accept cash; tickets are prepaid or purchased with a cell phone text message. A small but growing number of businesses only take cards, and some bank offices — which make money on electronic transactions — have stopped handling cash altogether.

"There are towns where it isn't at all possible anymore to enter a bank and use cash," complains Curt Persson, chairman of Sweden's National Pensioners' Organization.

He says that's a problem for elderly people in rural areas who don't have credit cards or don't know how to use them to withdraw cash.

The decline of cash is noticeable even in houses of worship, like the Carl Gustaf Church in Karlshamn, southern Sweden, where Vicar Johan Tyrberg recently installed a card reader to make it easier for worshippers to make offerings.

"People came up to me several times and said they didn't have cash but would still like to donate money," Tyrberg says.

Bills and coins represent only 3 percent of Sweden's economy, compared to an average of 9 percent in the eurozone and 7 percent in the U.S., according to the Bank for International Settlements, an umbrella organization for the world's central banks.

4.

I haven't really looked at the technical implementation of this, but it would seem like there has to be a better way of paying that avoids fees to credit card companies, banks, and PayPal. You call it "Yo-Ho-Ho" money, but isn't most money now just bits in some computer system? Isn't paper money itself just a convention? Even gold has no intrinsic value except that people like it because it's shiny. The value of any form of currency is largely in the imagination of society.

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