Money money money
Here in Australia we have four major banks and a smattering of small ones. The four majors between them rack up over a $1,000.00 profit per annum for every man woman and child in the country.
Governments currently provide money as a service which is paid for through our tax dollars. They also guarantee that the money that they print is legal tender for goods and services throughout the nation. Thus you can go to the local milk bar and buy a litre of milk with cash. At that point the people who earn cents from the transaction are the farmer, the processors, the drivers and the milk bar proprietor. (Granted the banks will be in there somewhere as loans to the farmer, custodians of some of the money at various points along the chain) Unless you pay with a credit or debit card, a bank or credit agency does not take anything from that specific transaction.
As more and more money is virtualised there are more and more fingers in the pie skimming off a point here, a few points there, meaning that there are simply more costs to each transaction and therefore you require more of those $ to buy the same thing.
I know that money is going to be entirely virtual. You won't walk into a bank to rob it because realistically, if there is no cash there is no requirement for a shop front and nowhere to rob anything physical from.
Like most of the freedoms we give up in the name of simplicity or supposed creature comfort, the freedom to just keep a wad of cash against a rainy day will be gone.
The Internet as an aggregate is the largest and most reliable machine humans have built. But that is in aggregate. As Barclays's and RBS customers know, lumps of it can fall off and make your life very very difficult if you rely entirely on virtual money.
As I say, cash will be done away with entirely. Other systems for black/shady grey market system will come into being but will not have the versatility of cash.
I will miss the Free aspect to cash. I will miss the satisfying heft of a thousand dollars in fifties sitting in my wallet, being able to root around in my socks and jocks drawer for gold and larger denomination silver coins to buy milk and bread when the virtual cash well is dry. Kids will grow up without the notion of a money box, of the visible and physical notion of adding small amounts to a vessel and watching it grow into something heavy and exciting, something tactile. Of course none of this really means anything, I am just being an old fart grizzling about change.
But I am not pleased about having every single transaction I make available for scrutiny nor am I pleased that like real estate agents adding nothing to a transaction but removing a large slice from it, banks or the virtual cash agents will take a slice from all of the things that they are currently not able to.