30 May '12, 9pm

My Year Trying to Live Cash Free

Not long ago, I was visiting my sister in New Jersey when a last-minute change in plans forced me to hop on a train into New York City without time to prepurchase a ticket. When the conductor came around, I fished my wallet from my back pocket, took out my credit card, and waved it at him. He glared at me. Then he said two words that made me cringe: “Cash only.” Normally, that wouldn’t have been a problem. Like most American commuters, I usually keep a few twenties on me for situations like this one, when plastic just doesn’t cut it. But at the time, I was two months into a quest to go an entire year eschewing cash—and I mean not even handling the stuff. I was writing a book on the origins and fate of physical money , and I wanted to get a glimpse of what the cashless future might look like. Sure, cash used to be king. But no longer. By some estimates, cash transactions ac...

Full article: http://spectrum.ieee.org/geek-life/profiles/my-year-tryin...

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