Cashless Society:  End times scaremongering or Kingdom opportunity?

Front page of this month's Joy magazine (and the Afrikaans edition) says: "The danger of a coming cashless society".  Let me counter this common "end-times" sign with the good news of the wonderful opportunities for the Kingdom of God in the future digital money system.

Its been 45 years since Hal Lindsay's "Late Great Planet Earth" energized my generation of youngsters to give up careers, home, family and get on with world evangelism before Jesus comes again by 1988. At least that is what Hal and Chuck Smith told us and off we went. Actually it was a wonderful time resulting in millions getting saved and a lot of those youngsters coming back from missions to start independent churches by the thousands.  But I can assure you, we had plenty of "end time" signs in our day.  Far more than today.

Well here we are 40 years later and surprisingly the "end time" industry is still going strong. It is still the guaranteed path to million seller book sales, conference prophets, and lucrative tours to Israel. But the increasing problem is how to convince this current generation of youngsters on the inevitable victory of Satan, One World Government, Antichrist etc and the strategic retreat of the Church in the Rapture. We had a far easier time of it 40 years ago. Today's youngsters will leave their digital world for a Hillsong music fest but little else.

With the severe lack of signs of the Antichrist and his New World Order in a world that is visibly falling is very difficult to find the usual signs of the end times. So it is left to the last few usual suspects. One of the favourite being "the cashless society" that must lead inevitably to the expected One World Government of the Antichrist.

But let's look at this closer in the light of what is really happening in the world of cashless money.  But let me first confess my bias and my biblical framework. And let me with it say I am more excited now about the worldwide spread of the Kingdom of God in our time than I was about the soon coming rapture I expected for 1981.

The Lord has given our generation the most wonderful task of discipling the nations into the Kingdom of God but with this great task He has given us the most wonderful tools from the world of technology to help us get the job done. But do not get me wrong. This job is not going to get done by technology. Without the anointing of God on men and women bringing deliverance, repentance with signs and wonders following the world revival is not going to happen.  But without the tools of our age we are also not going to get the job done.

The Power of the Information Age

Raymond Kurzweil the founder of the "Singularity" movement and its Singularity University supported by the tech giants of Silicon Valley wrote a prescient article in 2001 called "The Law of Accelerating Returns".  In it he described the constant decline of the cost of information beginning in 1890 and extending to the year 2000. He said the cost of information fell 50% every three years from 1890 to 1950. Then from 1950 it fell 50% every two years. Then from 1965 with the development of transistors it began to fall 50% every 18 months. And then from 2001 he said it was falling 50% every 12 months.

Since then the power of the internet and the low cost of digital devices and massive increases in bandwidth of optic fibre and broadband the cost of information is dropping every month.

This power of the worldwide spread of cheap and fast information has had a direct result in the fulfilment of several Old Testament prophecies that the "knowledge of the Lord will fill the earth.".  Understand this truth statement very carefully:

It is both spiritually and technologically impossible for Satan regardless of his desires or dreams or lies to put together a One World Government! It is not going to happen!

Technology is making knowledge available everywhere in the world just about freely available.  This same digital technology is also breaking up all sorts of power concentrations and old vested interests:

- The government mail monopolies have been made redundant by free email.
- Telephone behemoths that controlled high cost international phone calls have been destroyed by free Skype.
- Big computer mainframe companies destroyed by youngsters like Jobs and Gates giving cheap and powerful computers to everyone.
- Big media monopolies in TV and newspapers destroyed by billions in advertising money going to Google and Facebook.
- And I predict the mega corporations of automobiles and energy getting taken apart by cheap renewables like PV panels and wind. If you are wondering why oil is falling like a rock and every oil country is pumping like there is no tomorrow...because their inside experts have already told them this: In 20 years the world of transport is going to be dominated by electric cars powered by free solar energy and the hundreds of billions of barrels of oil in the ground are going to drop enormously in pump for all you are worth and get whatever value you can get now and make oil cheap to stop the electric car onslaught.  And when the cheap lithium batteries become available worldwide most countries are going to be building their own electric cars.
- Have you seen the news lately from America? The US government begging Apple to please make a trap door in their phones so government can listen in. That is how powerful private encryption is. That is technical privacy from government intrusion.
- Have you seen the news from Europe?  The whole EU project is falling apart.

What do these and many other technical and world trends have in common?

World corporate power blocks are crumbling under the attack of new innovation.
Nobody trusts politicians and governments.
World borders are disappearing as the people of the world migrate. There is very little national loyalties left.

Can you see the trend? That trend is not to a powerful one world government. The trend is to the breaking up of power monopolies whether they be corporations or governments.

Now where does that leave us with regard to the world trend in cashless economies?

And it is here where the prophecy writers make their fundamental mistakes. They do not understand economics, technology or scripture.  Here is my prediction taken from the technology writers I have read as well as the economist I have studied and the scriptures:

The coming technology trend in digital currencies and the technology that enables them is bad news for the big banking powers of the world and they all know it! They are the next dinosaurs heading for extinction.

I love cashless banking. Our company bookkeeper pays all our company accounts from our office computer.  No checks. My staff get their pay instantly in their accounts. My customers pay by EFT. No "the cheque is in the post" routine.

The poor masses in Kenya almost all now use e-Pesa electronic payments from their phones.  No cash. No robberies of payday pay packets.  Instant market information of best market prices for farmers by phone. No middlemen. Cash payment to farmer by the market for his produce through the phone.  This is spreading all across Africa.

Here is what the Joy magazine article in bold side bar says, "The problem with a cashless society is that of a financial dictatorship emerging where only a select few have the power over what we spend and how we spend it."  What utter nonsense! Try to tell the majority poor of Kenya who only use cashless transaction. What dictatorship? The Antichrist? You think if you had cash notes like they had in Soviet Union that stopped the Commissars from running your economic life?

The article goes on to ask:
"What would you do if you could not buy, sell, get a job or open a bank account without proper identification someday?  Would you simply give in to whatever the government was demanding of you at the time...?"
Someday? Folks at Joy magazine are you serious? You try getting a job or opening a bank account without proper identification today? So what? Its called FICA and yes I obey and no...there is no dictator telling me what I can buy or sell.  All they are telling me is that when I do sell please add VAT.  Is this the road to One World Government?

Here is the new world cashless system that puts an end to banking conglomerates and government monopoly.....the Bitcoin software technology of the Blockchain!

The World Changing Technology of the Blockchain

By now you should have heard of the crypto-currency of Bitcoin.  I am not interested in Bitcoin. And neither are the world bankers.  What worries the world bankers is the underlying operating system called "Blockchain Technology",  And they are right to worry because it is absolutely genius.  Let me try to explain....

The primary function of a bank is to be the neutral third party keeper of the ledger. The national financial ledger is the record the banks keep of who deposited how much, who paid how much to who and then every day update that ledger so that we all know who has what and who paid who. They get paid for that service by our transaction fees.

Now here is the genius of what Bitcoin did with their breakthrough technology and then I will explain why bankers of the world recognize that this is the future of money systems and why this is important for the development of Kingdom money system for Christians.

Bitcoin after they create a new "bitcoin" (through what they call Bitcoin miners, and the system will only allow the gradual creation of 21 million Bitcoins so that scarcity will force a high value to each Bitcoin) gave each Bitcoin an identity tag so it can be tracked through the Bitcoin system and passed form one person to another for what ever financial transactions.

Then came the genius of the "Blockchain".  For a ledger system to track who own which Bitcoin they developed the Blockchain. What they did was that every transaction in the system was placed with others in a thing called a block of data and that block was safely stored in the Blockchain.  Every new block of transactions is added to the previous block, The beauty is two fold:
- First this ledger of the history of transaction is spread among many servers among the users of the system so there is no one party controlling the ledger.
- Secondly you cannot change the data of a block once it has been added to the Blockchain.  So it is impossible to tamper with the system to hack and change the Blockchain.  The moment one piece of data is attempted to be changed in that block then a numerical value changes and the software will not allow it. Plus there are many ledgers on many servers and all have the same Blockchain making it impossible to tamper with the system.
- The other beauty of the Blockchain system is that you can make payments conditional as in buyer and seller and a neutral person. If two people agree that the transaction has been lawfully concluded then the payment is transferred.  No more attorney trust accounts.
- You can put anything on the Blockchain. You can make it a money storage and transfer system. You can make it a means of storing contract agreements or house titles or other asset titles.
- Nobody can steal your money and that includes the government cannot just go into your account to take your money.  Only your unique identity keys will allow the Blockchain system to transfer your money to a new entity on the system.
- And that also means that this stops fractional-reserve banking by the banks.  What happens is that when I deposit R100 in my bank account the bank credits my ledger account but they are able to take that R100 and lend and relend that money and turn a R100 cash deposit into R1000 of debt created credit.  All the time telling me do not worry your R100 is safe you can have it any time you want. In that way banks literally create money out of nothing by creating credit through debt.  The Blockchain puts a stop to that. The bank is unable to lend out my money I deposit on the Blockchain unless I specifically release it for lending purposes.

There are now 42 of the largest banks in the world working feverishly to implement Blockchain technology to change the whole way national and international banking works.  They are doing it because it drastically lowers bank transaction costs and they are doing it because they know people like Amazon, Apple and Google will clean their clocks for them with this technology and start their own banks. Apple has already launched a payment system with their phones and all they need to do next is start their own international bank with pure electronic money on a Blockchain software system and then big international banks with their high cost structures start crumbling.

Microsoft through their Etherium subsidiary is already offering generic Blockchain software for anyone wanting to start a bank or payment system and they offer the Microsoft cloud to store the ledger system. Hundreds of these new financial tech companies are starting up and they have the big international banks in their sights!.

This is great news for a low cost banking system for Christian communities. You can make a system where your Bitcoins are denominated in gold for international payment system among Christian communities. Or you can link your Bitcoins to local currency like Rands for local payments.  By placing our money into our own national payments system connected to our own debit cards we keep our money out of the main banks who use our savings in any case to lend to others.  This can be the start of our own national financial system with all the added services of loans, mortgages, investments, insurances etc. But you absolutely cannot do this by starting a new bank using cash notes. The infrastructure costs are just too high and the overhead costs are just too much.

A cashless society for the growing Kingdom of God? Absolutely yes because the underlying technology is now available to make it secure, safe from intrusion, low cost, and able to multitask to many different financial services and that ensures God's people and their savings are used for the Kingdom agenda.

Hope there are some Christian financial and banking types out there who have been wanting to put their talents to work for the Kingdom that are reading this....

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