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Elimination of High Denomination Bank Notes

The move toward a cashless society is gradually getting traction. Arguments in favor of eliminating high denomination bank notes are frequent in the press. The first step to a cashless society is to remove high denomination bank notes on concerns about crime.

In 2015 Australia saw an 11 per cent surge in demand for its AUD $100 note, even though not that many Australians ever see them, suggesting that it is criminals that are using them.

High denomination notes play a small role in most legitimate economies. The Boston Federal Reserve, for instance said that only 5 per cent of American consumers use $100 notes. Most transactions are done with a plastic card, or, as in Australia, many transactions are done by bank transfer. Europe’s €500 note and the U.S. $100 bill are the most used by criminals. The €500 notes are often referred to as “bin Ladens” because “everyone knows they exist but no one knows where to find them.”

Those arguing for elimination of high denomination notes say that to criminals, “anonymity of payments and the ubiquity of acceptance makes large notes particularly attractive for those engaged in illegal activity.”

The international drug trade is conducted almost exclusively using cash. Storing cash is a big problem for drug smugglers due to the weight of smaller denominations. The larger denomination notes make movement of large amounts of cash, especially across borders, relatively easy.

Former US Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers says the analysis “is totally convincing on the linkage between high denomination notes and crime” and that it is important to stop the use of high denomination notes to make it much harder for criminals to ply their trade.

Mario Draghi, president of the European Central Bank is now signaling that the ECB is considering taking action against the €500 note. After all there are substitutes available for legal transactions. Depriving smugglers of high denomination bank notes would remove a key tool they need for moving bulk cash across borders.

The United States has already discontinued producing the $500 U.S. note. Canada has stopped producing its $1000 note, and Singapore ceased issuing its $10,000 banknotes. In a world where legal commerce is increasingly conducted via electronic payment systems, eliminating high denomination notes makes sense.

Students of prophecy know that eliminating cash from circulation in society forces everyone to use electronic means. Eliminating high denomination bank notes is a consequence of the use of electronic payment systems since they are hardly needed. The more people that use electronic payments the less need there is for paper currency. The use of electronic payment systems is a key to controlling flow of money and even restricting its use.

“That no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.” Revelation 13:17

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