Banks Quarantining Cash Will Not Aid Crypto Adoption

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The World Health Organization revealed last week that the passing around of banknotes was contributing to the circulation of coronavirus, but, unlike some have suggested, this doesn’t mean that cryptocurrency is the alternative.

Banknotes Blamed for Spreading Coronavirus

Health organizations have been trying to work out how the coronavirus is transmitted since it emerged at the end of last year, and last week it was revealed that one of the ways it was spreading was through the passing of banknotes, on which the COVID-19 virus can survive for up to nine days.

Heavily affected areas such as China and South Korea quickly took to quarantining, cleansing, and even in some cases destroying banknotes with the virus on them. The Federal Reserve has taken to quarantining US banknotes from Asia for 7-10 days before releasing them into the economy.

Crypto Supporters Jump on Anti-cash Bandwagon

Crypto supporters had already begun to jump on this anti-cash bandwagon, but things kicked up a notch when the World Health Organization advised people last week to “wash their hands after handling banknotes”, and ideally use contactless payment methods.

An article in Forbes, echoed by some crypto media outlets, quickly seized on this recommendation and spun it in favor of cryptocurrency:

Cryptocurrencies allow one to avoid physical transactions if needed, and allow for the near-effortless transfer of value between borders. They can be used as a digital format for the transfer of value and slowly erode the usage of physical cash…

Bitcoin Solves This, But so Does Contactless Payment

What those jumping on the ‘Bitcoin solves this’ bandwagon failed to realize is that there is another technology that eradicates the need for handling physical cash – contactless payment. For the uninitiated, this means tapping your bank card on a terminal, with no need to come into contact with anyone.

If the problem with cash is the passing on of germs on bits of paper, then the next natural port of call is going to be to use the contactless feature on the card that withdrew those bits of paper in the first place, not jumping to a whole new technology.

If the government were to suddenly outlaw cash payments, then there would be a massive surge in contactless and chip and pin payments, not people buying cryptocurrency. This should be obvious to even the most ardent crypto evangelist. Just as trying to convince the likes of Warren Buffett about the merits of Bitcoin, people who prefer cash over contactless today are not cryptocurrency’s target market.

Wrong Kind of Virus

The kind of viruses that the cryptocurrency community should be focusing on preventing are the kind that allow crypto wallets to be hacked into and emptied, because this is the kind of thing that is keeping people from adopting crypto.