There is no bigger story than what’s happening to the US dollar hegemony right now. Almost no one is talking about it. The moves that Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin are making which will completely alter the international power structure and monetary system.
Efforts by China and Russia to chip away at the U.S. dollar’s dominance in global payments have gained urgency with the Ukraine war and tensions over Taiwan.
Russian President Vladimir Putin in June touted plans to create a new international reserve currency based on a basket of currencies of BRICS members Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa.
Creating an alternative to the dollar-based global payments system would allow Moscow and Beijing to evade economic sanctions — a financial weapon whose powers and limits have become clear in Western nations’ response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
The proposal, which Putin said was “under review,” seems to envision a BRICS version of the International Monetary Fund’s special drawing rights — a reserve asset that IMF members can tap during a cash crunch.
The value of SDRs is pegged to a basket of five currencies: the U.S. dollar, the euro, the Chinese yuan, the British pound and the Japanese yen.
As a result of international sanctions following the attack on Ukraine, Russia has seen many of its banks excluded from the SWIFT global payments messaging system and lost access to its central bank’s assets parked overseas. For Russia, a BRICS-based reserve currency would provide a new tool for expanding transactions in currencies other than the U.S. dollar.
This initiative has no chance of posing a threat to the IMF-led currency establishment, said a Japanese official involved in currency policy.
“The BRICS currencies are weak in terms of stability, liquidity and the ability to retain value,” the official said. “Facebook’s cryptocurrency, libra, failed to take off because of those issues.”
Yet Russia and China have taken other steps to lay the foundation for an alternative payment system.
China in 2015 created the Cross-Border Interbank Payment System, or CIPS, in an attempt to offer an alternative to SWIFT. Participating banks totaled 1,341 as of June this year, including top Japanese banks as well as Deutsche Bank and JPMorgan Chase.
According to SWIFT, the Chinese yuan’s share in international settlements stood at 2.17% in June, up 0.4 point from two years earlier. The number is still far below the dollar’s 41.16%, and the euro’s 35.55%. But its share reached a record 3.2% in January, and at one point surpassed the yen to claim fourth place after the pound.
Overseas investors are increasing yuan-denominated bond holdings, and companies affiliated with Russian state-owned energy company Gazprom are switching from the dollar to the yuan for part of their payments, bolstering the currency’s standing.
“Sanctions against Russia have made China aware of the need to protect itself from possible financial sanctions in the future,” said Rie Nakada at the Daiwa Institute of Research. While she sees a sudden increase in yuan-based transactions as unlikely due to Beijing’s capital controls, Nakada said more institutions will consider taking part in nondollar settlement networks.
Attention is also on the fate of Russia’s SDRs, worth roughly $24 billion. The IMF distributed a record $650 billion worth of SDRs to members in response to the pandemic. Russia’s SDRs also increased as a result.
But in order for Moscow to exercise the SDRs, one of the five currencies’ central banks needs to agree. While that path is shut with the U.S., U.K., EU and Japan, China could agreed to exchange them with the yuan.
Analysts say China is unlikely to risk international backlash to come to the aid of Russia. But Robert Kahn of Eurasia Group says the world needs to pay attention to how financial relations between Russia and China are evolving.
Masaya Sakuragawa, a professor of economics at Japan’s Keio University, said, “Looking back at history, the currency order tends to change after a major war.”
The dollar established its global currency position when the U.S. provided assistance to war-ravaged Europe through the Marshall Plan after World War II. Similarly, China could boost the yuan’s standing by providing assistance to Russia after the war is over, Sakuragawa said.
Moscow has rapidly intensified its use of yuan in two main ways: increasing the yuan’s share in Russia’s reserves and switching to direct ruble-yuan trade instead of using the dollar as an intermediary. At the end of last year, Russia’s Finance Ministry increased the permitted share of yuan reserves in the National Wealth Fund to 60 percent. Meanwhile, ruble-yuan trade increased eighty-fold from February to October 2022. With each of these actions, Russia created new vulnerabilities and cemented itself as the little brother in the relationship.
Ruble-yuan exchange rate vulnerability. China is Russia’s top trade partner, and its tight control of the yuan-ruble exchange rate creates risks for Russia’s balance of trade. A tightly controlled yuan may inherently seem more stable than a floating dollar, but Chinese authorities have managed the ruble-yuan exchange rate to its advantage before. Specifically, shortly after the invasion began, the Chinese government relaxed yuan controls to allow the rapidly depreciating ruble to fall faster, thus avoiding subsidizing Chinese goods for Russians by giving them more yuan than their rubles were really worth. As a result, it became much more expensive for Russia to buy Chinese goods. In other words, China could choose at any time—for political reasons or otherwise—to make Chinese imports really expensive and Russian exports to China much cheaper.
Formal channels cut off. The London Bullion Market Association’s decision to suspend all Russian refineries from its accredited list in March 2022 and a gold import ban by Group of Seven (G7) countries in June 2022 meant that Russian gold’s traditional sales routes to the United States and Europe were cut off. Russia also cannot use gold as collateral for loans or for location swaps—a transaction in which two parties agree to exchange gold they have in different locations without physically moving the gold. But no one would want to swap their non-sanctioned gold with sanctioned Russian gold. Moscow has hence turned to illicit means to liquidate its gold.
Illicit channels are also challenging. Gold’s physical nature can make it a hassle-ridden financial asset since transporting gold is more difficult than digital assets. But its advantage is its ability to be moved outside of electronic financial networks. Russia could use gold to bypass sanctions by partnering with non-Western gold hubs including China, the UAE, and India in exchange for cash or barter. Refineries are permitted to list intermediary countries as the source of unrefined gold, meaning its Russian origin is fairly easy to mask. While refined gold is inscribed with the refinery’s name and date, making it readily identifiable as Russian, it can be remelted and then resold as anything-but-Russian gold.
Recent history is replete with precedents for gold smuggling by sanctioned economies. In 2019, Russia reportedly flew Venezuelan gold around the world and exchanged it for cash dollars which were then flown back to Caracas. In 2012, Iran sold natural gas to Turkey in exchange for gold, which was then sold for cash in Dubai.
Potential partners will remain hesitant to trade a sanctioned asset in large quantities unless the risk of exposure is alleviated. But as illicit trade of other commodities between Russia and non-Western countries expands, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s shadow fleet of ships grows, and networks become entrenched, risks could be managed and more gold could clandestinely start flowing with it.
China’s global yuanization ambition
Russia and China have partnered in dedollarization since 2014. But Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the resulting Western sanctions have created an imbalance in the urgency for dedollarization.
In addition to increasing its yuan reserves and eliminating the dollar intermediary in yuan-ruble exchange, Moscow is planning its own international standard for gold and other precious metals where prices will be fixed to members’ national currencies, likely including the yuan.
China is all too happy to assist Russia in this process. Beijing has a longer-term goal of competing with the dollar and of advancing the yuan as an international currency. Russia will be a test case as the first large economy to embrace the yuan in this way. With the power dynamic in the relationship strongly tilted in China’s favor, Russia’s urgency will permit the People’s Bank of China to experiment with financial and monetary policies in a controlled environment while easing the yuan into a more international role.
Will the Future Global Society be Cashless? — War on Cash
Cashless payments are on the rise. They are fast, easy, and convenient. Worldwide, cashless transactions have become the norm. All over the western world, banks are shutting down cash machines and branches.
They are trying to push you into using their digital payments and digital banking infrastructure. Sweden Is On The Verge Of Going Completely Cashless. India and China are following the trail. The Swedish central bank, predicts that cash transactions will make up less than 0.5% of the value of all payments made in the country in 2023 Now in China, in places like food courts and some McDonalds, you cannot use cash.
With the rapid increase in technologies ranging from debit and credit cards to technologies like Apple Pay and Samsung Pay, hard and fast cash is becoming redundant and thus a day is not far when we will do away with cash and checks. And thus this society which doesn’t use cash is also termed as check-less society. Talking a bit further, the obvious advantages are:- Firstly, we would able to track our money right to the last cent, penny or paise which we find cumbersome with currency notes and coins. Finally you won’t lose 25 paise buying a commodity which costs ₹ 75.75.( Americans and Europeans won’t mind that much as they are still able to use their cents and pennies but still who hates convenience) Secondly, convenience. It’s so liberating to not desperately counting your money in front of the shopkeeper.
Safety. You don’t risk losing your money and in case even if you lose your debit card or phone, no one can misuse it without your pin code or even better fingerprint(maybe even without your iris). And even better you can simply block your cards promptly and thus no one can use the cards even if they are hackers. You can obviously not block someone from using hard cash. Go green..! Not just green it would free up quite a bit of man power and natural resources which are utilized in minting money. Disadvantages- One would sorely miss the smell of freshly minted notes and the reliability and comfort hard and fast cash provides. Sure, physical cash is just a vessel of the perceived value we as a society have agreed upon.
There is nothing stopping us from doing the same with bits of code stored in data centers. It might be difficult in societies like India, China, Brazil, where lots of people still only accept cash, but that will change soon enough. Mobile paying in the US is a hippie’s toy. In China, it is the main currency. So yeah, cashless is viable as long as all parties of the transaction agree to it as an excellent method of accounting for and transferring value, just be careful not to be too eager and eliminate 10% of your cash currency overnight as India did, let adoption spread naturally as it does in China . In China, there is no complete cashless status, but a cashless system is approaching. Nowadays, Chinese people are shopping, saving money, and transferring money, and all these behaviors have no cash participation. Instead, they are using Alipay and Wechat.
In China, fund flows in the two digital ecosystems mentioned above that integrate social media, business, and banking, and are operated by two of the world’s most valuable companies. This contrasts with the United States, where many companies are charging fees for the payment process and handling the payment.
Western bankers and credit card company executives are facing the same anxiety: Without banks and credit card companies, payment may be cheap and easy. Payment Apps such as Alipay and WeChat have rapidly become omnipresent forces in China’s consumer economy, with 520 million and 1 billion monthly active users.
According to the data of payments consultancy AIT Group, the two systems jointly traded $2.9 trillion in transactions in 2022, accounting for half of all consumer products sold in China. Alipay has signed agreements with a number of payment processors in the United States. Some taxi drivers in New York are offering passengers this payment option.
Alipay said its expansion aims to help Chinese tourists, but few in the payments industry believe it will stop there. In addition, Chinese consumers are saving more money on payment apps. In 2013, Alipay began to provide money market accounts. By last year, it had built the business into the world’s largest money market fund with a total value of about $243 billion. For the U.S.bankers, this is another pain point.
They have always held customer savings and used the funds to make external loans to make a profit. If U.S. consumers follow Chinese people, banks will have to find other (and possibly more expensive) sources of funding. In short, even in China, money is not from Alibaba or Tencent; it must be loaded from a bank account. Although the threat is real, U.S. bankers have enough time and choice to implement it. Banks need to try to integrate their payment systems into social media platforms and e-commerce platforms instead of having technology companies do all the work and get all the rewards. We’re almost already there, at least in most Western countries.
Coins and notes are mostly just physical tokens that represent a virtual currency, they’re no less dependent on electronic systems than a credit card, or PayPal is — a few big electromagnetic pulses in London, New York, and half a dozen other places (well, trickier than that since the critical data’s all shielded and redundant, but you get the idea) and the cash in my pocket isn’t worth anything more than what’s in my bank account, on my credit card, etc because it’s not backed by anything.
That’s not really a problem, fiat currency doesn’t need to be backed by anything more than the country issuing it, but it highlights that the coins and notes are unimportant — we only keep them for convenience and familiarity. As we’ve seen recently in Greece (and to a lesser extent elsewhere over the last 7 years), for short term problems (a few days or weeks) it’s essential to be able to have enough cash to live off if there’s (for example) a run on a bank — however the cash is only worth anything during that period because it’s expected that the economy will survive that blip. I cashless society is possible but not desirable.
It is a cold hard reality that the solar storm in 1859 (when there were 1.5 billion people in the world) brought down the newly created telegraph network as sparks were shooting out at operators. Such a storm would cause trillions of dollars in damage, far worse than any cyclone or hurricane. In 2012 (when there were 6.5 billion people in the world), a similar size solar storm as 1859 missed the Earth by six days. The loss of ability to conduct routine transactions even for a week in a modern urban area would make a lousy situation nearly catastrophic.
There is actually a kind of competition between the USA and Euro Zone to increase the value of circulating banknotes. €380 billion: banknotes of 12 national currencies in the year 2000. $564 billion: Circulating USA banknotes in the year 2000. €681 billion: Initial Euro-zone production of banknotes. €806 billion: Circulating Euro banknotes at the end of the year 2009. $942 billion: Circulating USA banknotes at the end of the year 2009. €1,171 billion: Circulating Euro banknotes at the end of the year 2017. $1,571 billion: Circulating USA banknotes at the end of the year 2017. Although the ECB has elected not to include the €500 banknote in the new series, they have ordered more than enough €100 and €200 banknotes to replace the € 500. Many people believe governments are trying to reduce the value of circulating as it is easier to track what their citizens are doing, but in reality, only Sweden and Norway are reducing their circulating cash. so Should societies go cashless? We ordinary citizens do not make these decisions.they are made in dark smoke-filled rooms then the order is passed on to the media to make people think they asked for the action.
Highly-paid spin doctors seem to have control of the thinking of the masses. If you pay attention to this thing they call trending we have millions who live by the code of monkey see monkey.It is a little late to worry about the future as you have minimal effect on your future. I am deeply suspicious of this whole notion of going entirely cashless. Think about this from another angle. What if the power grid fails? If even from a natural disaster or terrorist attack.
How is a cashless society going to handle that? Think about how social media platforms have progressed. Everyone has been enthralled by this newfound power to connect to the world and share ideas and have new ways to do business. But; Have not the creators of these fantastic new tools thrown us all under the bus, so to speak, by abusing their newfound superpowers by making banks by selling our private information and data? What makes you think for one minute that a utterly cashless system is safe? And then there is AI, artificial intelligence. This technology is already progressing at an alarming rate, and we have never had the necessary conversations about the regulation of it.
A cashless society will also become a society where government plays a more prominent role as tracking bribes, and illegal payments will be impossible. In a country like India, where cash is still the king, struggles to control corruption, the move to a cashless society would mean a massive changeover. In a country like Sweden, where much of life has become cashless, it becomes increasingly difficult for merchants and people still wishing to live in a cash-payment society to even receive banking services.
Not surprisingly, Swedish banks are slowly turning cashless. What we are now saving and investing are now binary digits. In a world, however, where even the most secure sites, like the NSA or Yahoo, are not above being hacked, the prospect for a new and much more dangerous type of digital crime is obvious. Cashless depend on IT for handling payments. In a world without cash, everyone needs to use services provided by banks and credit/debit card companies. Thus, secret service agencies can monitor and observe all money transactions. If you go shopping, you‘ll need to use some sort of banking/cash card or a smartphone with a payment app. Obviously, IT security would become an even more critical issue. All payment service providers would probably charge their customers for each money transaction, but shops may offer to cover these costs to attract consumers.
We all will be dependent on (central) banks and governments. For example, if the FED decides to introduce negative interest rates or a bank decides to charge a new fee, nobody can avoid this problem. Hence, politics needs to introduce new laws and regulations to ensure trust by all parties and protect customers. Another example might be the limits of how much money you can transmit in a payment.
Since every financial transaction is based on cashless payments, it is much easier for the individual to keep an eye on all her expenses and incomes. But if your smartphone battery were empty or you forgot to take your cards with you, you‘d face a severe problem. Thus, biometrics will become an essential technology that enables a customer to use biometrics for authorization and authentication instead of digital means.
Today, some small shops, single entrepreneurs, or shop owners cannot afford to provide cashless payment to their clients. It will also make their life much more complex, which is usually not an issue for big(ger) companies. The government may regulate the market to address this challenge, such as limiting fees and costs. Supermarkets or gas stations will automate their shops so that all items are electronically identified and charged. Let us pray that there is no issue with the transaction software. It might be challenging to deal with system errors. Who really wants to live in a world where Russian hackers have invaded the financial system?
– How to identify prophesies coded in the visions of four men whom God revealed information about the latter days to.
– How to survive each day with little necessities of life like little food, no technology as there will be no electricity, and sometimes poor housing.
– How to preserve medication and food at home without chemical preservatives or a refrigerator.
– How to identify biological weapons and chemicals thrown your way, understanding how they affect your body and what to do about it and also how to avoid it and stay safe.
– How to make protective clothing to shield you against chemical weaponry using simple household items. This covers you when an attack is imminent and you do not have the necessary gear or did not have time to buy required gear.
– How to craft a plan to survive even when times become challenging. Here, Cain explains simple military science to help you survive at home. You will need to use simple equipment and substances available at home.
– How to distinguish clean water and food from ones that have been contaminated after an attack. This keeps the family safe and free of diseases that may be caused by contaminated food or water.
End Of Days Survivors
Trust and obey. Don’t worry. We’ll get through it. If you are one of these end of days survivors, having a skill or service to barter in a cashless society will likely assist in survival until God’s victory (how the Bible teaches it) is fulfilled.