Any way you slice it, the world at-large is no longer analog, but increasingly digital. We are now at parity point between science fiction and evolving pervasive technology. Welcome to The Diginomic Era!

“Only one in ten US dollars in circulation today is a physical note — the kind you can hold in your hand or put in your wallet. The other nine are virtual.” – McKinsey & Co., “The Global Grid

Joel Kurtzman, former Harvard Business Review executive editor, calls it “megabyte money” in his 1993 book, The Death of Money. Don Tapscott referred to it as “The Digital Economy” in his 1996 book by the same name … and then, in 2006, he went further to call it Wikinomics. In 1997, professor and author T. G. Lewis called it “The Friction-Free Economy”.

In 1998, yours truly took it one step further in coining the word “Diginomics” to denote the trend in the future for digital economics. If left uninterrupted by unexpected, unforeseen or unplanned forces, the evolution toward cashlessness is inevitable. Robert Hendrickson, in his 1972 book entitled “The Cashless Society”, agreed with this assessment when he noted: “All that is necessary is to wait out a short term in the cycle of human history and a cashless society will inevitably befall us because this is a development that is automatic and inevitable.”

Technological progress advances with very few hindrances to block its destiny, whether it be for good or for evil. In this particular instance involving the end of tangible currency in exchange for its intangible counterpart, the die is cast and the ultimate future is now at-hand.

In a 171-page white paper report in 2002 entitled “The Future of Money”, the UN’s Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) made a bold statement on the future of money by saying: “To put it in succinct and current terms, money’s destiny is to become digital.”

“When looking to the future, the question (is on) the rate at which the last vestiges of physical money will disappear and, in the minds of some, if it is really destined to vanish.”

Visa’s Chief Executive Al Kelly, in speaking at his company’s Investor Day meeting in June 2017, was quoted in the July 7 edition of Marketwatch as saying: “We’re focused on putting cash out of business.”

“As money becomes completely digitized, infinitely transferable, and friction-free, it will again revolutionize how we think about our economy.” – Daniel Roth, WIRED, February 22, 2010, “The Future of Money: It’s Flexible, Frictionless and (Almost) Free

“Killing currency wouldn’t be a trauma; it’d be euthanasia. We have the technology to move to a more efficient, convenient, freely flowing medium of exchange. E-money is no longer just a matter of geeks playing games.” – David Wolman, contributing editor, WIRED,
May 22, 2009, “Time to Cash Out: Why Paper Money Hurts the Economy

Headlines appearing in 2016 give us a view as to what is coming, courtesy of The American Thinker, in an article entitled “Here Comes the ‘Cashless Society”:

  • Bring On the Cashless Future – Bloomberg
  • China buyers go virtually cashless  – The Star
  • Norway’s Biggest Bank Calls For Country To Stop Using Cash – Int’l Business Times
  • Cashless future underway as Canadian consumers have more credit, debit and app options than ever – CBC
  • In Sweden, a Cash-Free Future Nears – NY Times
  • Germany proposes new cash ban and capital controls as Europe rushes towards NIRP* – Examiner

Author

Wallace Wood

The idea of diginomics came as Wallace R. Wood, a futuristic journalist and author in Houston, considered a request from the publisher of his first book, Cashless Society: A World Without Money (1974). Wallace was to write a sequel to his first book 25 years after the fact about a remarkably different, and nearly cashless society. He now runs operations at Diginomics Central where he publishes writings and media content about the rise of digitized society.

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