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The end of money: Imagining a cashless society with author David Wolman

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(flickr/Dawn Hartman)
Cash, it seems, is inescapable. Even as it becomes less vital to our global economy, even as our transactions become steadily more digital, society still has a difficult time separating the nebulous concept of "money" from the physical concept of "cash." As noted New York-based think-tank The Wu-Tang Clan once said, “cash rules everything around me.”

But all that may be changing.

Sweden (with the help of ABBA’s Bjorn Ulvaeus) is making great strides to become the world’s first cashless society. And, if a majority of Americans have their say, we may not be far behind.

Contributing editor for Wired David Wolman decided to beat everyone else to the punch. In the process of writing his new book The End of Money, Wolman lived a cashless existence for an entire year, and while he ran into some stumbling blocks along the way, the experience only helped support his theory that cash is an outdated mode of commerce.

Friday on Eight Forty-Eight we’ll talk with Wolman about living in a world free from paper bills and coins. Does a society without cash equal a society without privacy? Are there any advantages to living cash-free now? And will the end of currency mean the end of the world?

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