They've seen what China is doing with it's digital currency and want a piece of that action. Of course, once everyone is on a digital currency they can see how it is being spent at every point of sale and do what paypal is doing now to heretics.

Yeah, as much as evangelicals are very unhinged about the "mark of the beast" this stuff is truly creepy and insanely dystopian. Even though I have serious problems with cryptomining and stuff it's things like this that prevent me from being fully against them bc at least for now you can achieve a high level of anonymity. I did not support the covid denier truckers but the fact their govt could just freeze their bank accounts was a dire sign.

It may be a small action but this is why I boycott any business that decides to go "cash free." I'm just a working class woman and don't have a lot of financial power but I've eaten my last meal at several local restaurants who decided to try to force us all digital.

(Yes I know they also do it because they are assholes who don't want to serve homeless people, how dare those peasants try to buy a warm meal or a drink from a local establishment!)

The thing that bothers me about these discussions is that people are going "Oh, no! They might force this on everyone!" but low income people/people who rely on government transfers are already incredibly vulnerable to this sort of control. (Can someone explain the justification of food stamps in the US to me? Everywhere else they just give you money and you decide whether to spend it on food or other things. The explanation I've seen is that it was to help farmers sell food by securing a market.) It seems like it's ok if it only happens to the have-nots but a crisis if it ropes everyone in. I say the opposite: try to rope everyone in and it won't happen. I'm more worried about it being used to target the have-nots while the rest of society goes merrily on its way, exempt and completely oblivious.

Yes, you are absolutely right about the poor already being in the grip of this! But I feel that roping everyone in just makes control all the more complete.

You're assuming the rich and upper-middle class won't revolt and insist on exceptions for them. I don't think it will be possible for governments to ever have total control.

I think the elites may be free, but that would only be the top 5% or so. All the rest of us will be monitored, I really feel.

Australia until recently had a "cashless welfare card" that quarantined 80% of welfare payments and prevented them being spent on anything that the government deemed unnecessary or being withdrawn as cash. The new government removed it, but there has been a long standing public belief (fueled by the right-wing and Murdoch media) that welfare recipients are "bludgers" and being paid to sit at home and watch TV which has allow successive governments to put in place more regressive controls over how welfare recipients spend their pittance.