Submitted by Chris Argyrople, of Pivot Analytics
Paper money is going away in the very near future. Sooner than you realize, paper money will be replaced by a “digital-USD”. Money is already digital. Your bank and brokerage accounts are book entries in a digital database. These book entries are claims that can be exchanged for paper money or paper stock certificates. Governments, including the US government, will be mandating the exchange of all paper money for its digital “upgrade.” Why and when will this happen? More importantly, what implications does it have for investing?
Regarding the when, its going to happen soon, very soon. Within 7 or 10 years, paper money will be history and not legal tender anymore. China is already testing a digital RMB, so our leading nation is well behind its competitor, and once China rolls out its digital RMB in 2023, our government will spearhead the rollout of our USD version. In reality, China is already fully digital. Nobody in China uses cash anymore, and credit cards are a very small piece of their market. Chinese people use Alipay and other digital payment mechanisms on their phones.
Americans say “that can’t happen here, we value our privacy.” That’s ridiculous. If you buy with a debit or credit card, your grocery store knows when you buy broccoli and they know your brand of ice cream. If you have a smartphone, your phone company knows where you are at all times, and, yes, they sell that location data to hundreds of companies who pay for it. This location data is stripped of identifying records, rendering the data “blind” and “safe.” Most people inherently understand this, but what they don’t know is that basic algorithms can then figure out exactly who you are even based on this blind data. My friends at MIT get “blind” mobile phone data, merge it with other databases, and after they run it through algorithms, they know mostly everything about you, including your locations. In 2020, if you used a smartphone and a credit card, “they” know everything about you. In fact, most Americans choose to have very little privacy at all. Google knows when you are at your girlfriend’s house, they know what gifts you buy her and most of your favorite topics.