From the Apr. 27 Numismatic News E-Newsletter:
Will all coins be abolished in 10 years?
Here are some answers sent from our e-newsletter readers to Editor Dave Harper.
Most coins will be abolished in the future. Cents, for sure. Nickels, possibly. All the rest, reduced in circulation. It will be prudent to eliminate the paper dollar and circulate the dollar coin though (to save money). Also, produce the $2 coin (five years from now) to be circulated and for use in vending machines. Yes, this will save us all needed tax dollars! Let us all be on this bandwagon!
All coins will not be abolished within 10 years. Cash and coins are an indispensable part of commerce. Without the medium of exchange, the economy would revert to the barter system.
If the government forces an electronic exchange system on the public, an underground economy would form. Many transactions may occur electronically, but those who prefer currency may choose an alternative.
Puerto Rico has been without reliable electric service since last summer. The public has noticed this and will resist an all electronic commerce system because of its vulnerability to power outages, identity theft and computer hacking.
If the government chooses to stop minting coins, expect private mints to fill the void.
At the rate the government gets things done these days, no, I don’t think so.
Even if they start tonight.
Steven B. Gray
Maybe not 10 years entirely, but certainly within 25. They will go the way of cowrie shells as far as commerce goes, as vending machines switch to credit cards and other forms of digital cash. However, even if government issues go away, there will always be a use for jetons and tokens, which will serve the same purpose.
While the proliferation of ePayments, smart phone apps and other technology is quickly gaining in popularity, hard currency will remain a part of our society for a long time to come. Fraud is on the rise, and many, like myself, are increasingly hesitant to use credit cards and other electronic means at retailers. Whether it’s card skimmers at gas stations, or the hacking of SPI at companies like Target or Home Depot, using anything other than physical cash leaves you susceptible to ever-more sophisticated means of theft. We might eventually develop the technology to permanently thwart identity theft and electronic fraud, but that still is a long way off (if it arrives at all). If that day arrives, great. But until then, I’m going to keep using hard cash whenever possible.
The question of coins disappearing in the next 10 years is ludicrous.
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