How does money work – cash money, that is? David Wolman realized he didn’t know the answer to this deceptively simple question, so he decided to live one year without cash and set out across the globe to better understand the history of currency and what its future might be.
Along the way he met a counterfeiter in Honolulu, ran into an anti-counterfeiter in Tokyo, landed in the Digital Money Forum in London, and witnessed firsthand how new mobile payment technology is affecting the poor in Delhi. Wolman returned from his travels convinced that services allowing you to pay from your phone, such as Google Wallet, could lead to a better, cash-free future. He looked at the ways cash can affect our health, environment, and our psychology to better understand our relationship with hard currency.
Could you do as Wolman did and live a year without using cash? Should we be moving toward a future without cash? Do you think a cashless society is inevitable? What problems do you see with a transition to digital-only payments?
David Wolman contributing editor, Wired; author, “The End of Money: Counterfeiters, Preachers, Techies, Dreamers—and the Coming Cashless Society”