Case for Electronic Cash: Why Private P2P Payments are Essential

Cash is more than a method of payment. It is a fundamental tool for individual privacy and autonomy, and it is necessary for an open society. This talk will make the case that a cashless economy is a surveillance economy. We will argue that removing the option to freely transact without intermediation greatly limits our economic self determination, placing our economic lives in the hands of financial institutions and governments. The talk will present several case studies demonstrating the dangers of a completely intermediated payments system and concludes that electronic cash is a tool that should not only be tolerated, but fostered and celebrated. Jerry Brito is executive director of Coin Center, the leading non-profit research and advocacy group focused on the public policy issues facing cryptocurrency technologies like Bitcoin, and coauthor of scholarly work on the regulation of cryptocurrencies and Bitcoin: A Primer for Policymakers.

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