Australian government to track $100 notes with nano-chips as cashless society looms

Australia one hundred dollar note nano chips cashless society

The Australian government plans to crack down on the ‘black economy’ by implanting $100 and $50 notes with hi-tech nano-chips so they can be surveilled.

No this isn’t a futuristic Hollywood movie, this is Australia in 2017.

With around 300 million $100 notes in circulation carrying out such a task seems almost impossible to derive any value, let alone a waste of time and tax payer money.

Especially at a time when Australia’s household debt-to-income is at an all time high.

Nevertheless Michael Andrew, the man appointed by the Federal government to lead the ‘Black Economy Taskforce’ at the end of 2016 believes tracking the currency denomination is the best solution in stopping unwanted transactions from taking place and people avoiding paying tax.

According to the The Treasury the black economy:

“…refers to people who operate entirely outside the tax and regulatory system or who are known to the authorities but do not correctly report their tax obligations.”

That sounds good and well until we read on to find out who these people targeted by the agency actually are and how they seem to think $100 note is to blame.

Michael Andrew Black Economy Taskforce
Michael Andrew, head of the Black Economy Taskforce.

Mr Andrew claims that the $100 note should be tracked with nanotechnology due to:

  • Australian pensioners hoarding money under their bed to escape asset tests.
  • Chinese citizens taking Australian $100 notes back to China because it is apparently more trusted than the internationally superior Yuan.

This government created Black Economy Taskforce wants us to believe that Grandma is hoarding hundreds of thousands of dollars under her mattress in stacks of $100 notes.

Black Economy Taskforce Australia retired grandma hoarding money

Perhaps these pensioners, if they even are hoarding money (which is not illegal in itself), are doing so because the federal government is hiring people like Mr Andrew with our tax money to work out ways the public can be further surveilled and tracked.

As for Chinese citizens, there is a $10,000 limit on taking cash out of the country so I doubt this is any cause for concern.

But is this all part of a bigger agenda?

Calls to remove major currency from circulation

The Australian government has previously floated the idea to remove the $100 note from circulation, citing once again the need to crack down on the black economy.

This came shortly after global Investment Bank UBS recommended that Australia remove its largest value note from circulation.

This is not a local phenomena in terms of requests made for currency denominations to be removed from circulation.

We’ve seen moves in Europe where the 500-Euro bill was labelled the ‘Bin Laden bank note‘ that criminals love and removed from circulation.

In the United States, one of the chief architects of the 2008 global financial crisis Larry Summers has called for the removal of the $100 and $50 bill, once again demonising their use in illegal activities.

India removed their 500 and 1,000 rupee notes from circulation overnight which saw queues form around the country at ATM machines as people desperately tried to convert out of the newly defunct notes.

Keep in mind that the Indian government claimed the decision was an effort to close down the economy of untaxed cash transactions, which allows corruption, the funding of terrorist groups, and keeps counterfeit notes in circulation.

For the record, 500 rupee in Australian dollars is worth $10.20 and 1,000 rupee $20.40. I doubt any terrorism is being financed with that sort of money but rather sounds like the government is seeking more control over taxing its citizens.

Whilst some people see the move to a global cashless society as being inevitable, others claim this is part of a global ‘war on cash’ and freedom, as governments around the world seek to tighten the noose on citizens.

Cashless society no cash

This has in turn seen many people move into the growing cryptocurrency market where there is no centralised control and people can experience freedom with their hard earned money rather than being taxed into oblivion.

Hence the recent booms we’ve seen in cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum.

People are seeking ways to escape the clutches of ever so hungry governments.

War on cash = War on freedom

Furthermore the Australian Tax Office came out this week saying it was going to target work expense claims.

Big corporations making billions of dollars and not paying tax? Don’t worry you’re safe, the ATO isn’t interested in cracking down on you.

Trying to claim for those $160 business shoes you bought this year? Then look out, you’re being targeted!

People are in their right to claim what they legally can in order to reduce their taxable income. However with traceable money and increasingly dictatorial changes in law people may soon find they are unable to escape the grip of excessive government taxation.

The irony is that people’s tax revenue is being used to further clamp down on them by creating and funding agencies such as the Black Economy Taskforce.

Governments no longer work for the people

There are clear signs that the public is fed up with government wasting their tax money on things we don’t need.

This includes the now over $15 billion of Australian tax payer money wasted in fighting unnecessary wars overseas.

Money being squandered to friends of politicians so they can profit, either through the military industrial complex or corporations who avoid paying tax.

Note how no measures are being introduced to clamp down on this waste in the billions of dollars, but a few hundred dollars here or there by you and the government wants to know everything about it.

Malcolm Turnbull Australian government cashless society
Prime Minister of Australia, Malcolm Turnbull.

This is one of the reasons that increasingly the trend around the world is that people are growing discontent with the actions of their governments and political systems. People no longer feel they are being represented or that the system is working for them.

This was highlighted with the rise of Donald Trump in the United States, largely seen as an anti-establishment figure, and Britain’s vote to leave the European Union that saw the Brexit party win.

Final thoughts

Perhaps it’s time that we as humans evolve past the notion of needing a small elite few living in another reality telling us how we should live our lives. After all, we’ve moved on since the times of kings and queens.

Well, at least some of us have.

For now it seems governments will look for increasing ways to control and surveil their citizens. Using well sounding excuses such as ‘stopping terrorism’ or fighting the black economy.

In reality, it’s more likely a case that government is looking at new ways to bolster its coffers and if people are using physical cash then there is less money to be had for the greed that resides in Canberra.

The war on cash is well and truly underway.

Filip is the founder of Small Caps. He has written in both Australia and abroad covering everything from the global economy, politics and geopolitical issues to commodities and small cap stocks on the ASX.