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When will any country stop using cash currency?

While apparently half the world waits for the adoption of cryptocurrencies there’s been an ongoing proliferation of cashless money transfer, mediated by apps and QR-codes.

Electronic banking really established itself in the 1990s, and today more than half of US citizens use digital banking. Smarthphones enable quick transactions, money leaving and arriving in respective accounts in seconds. Sweden’s Swish for instance is used by more than half of the population, mostly for transfers that would otherwise use cash. Cash now only accounts for less than 20% of their transactions in stores.

But there are arguments for the continuation of cash as well: One may not want to have certain acquisitions linked to one’s account, be they of political, sexual, or altogether different nature. The elderly and poor often don’t have the means or technical aptitude to adapt to this new aspect either. On the gripping hand, a purely digital currency would be a juicy target for hacks and exploits and would therefore have to be built with such attempts in mind.

The currently foremost nation in this field appears to be South Korea with their ongoing trial to reduce coins, and according to researchers there’s a good chance the last Swedish banknote will be handed in by 2030.

When will the world see the first cashless society?

Resolves when a currency zone discontinues issuing bank notes and coins as legal tender, by adopting or converting to a purely digital currency. For the purposes of this question cash may still be accepted or exchanged on legacy grounds, as could novelty cash like commemorative coins.


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