Would we be better off without paper money and coin? Some say yes, and some say no and the debate rages on. Government tax collectors would prefer only electronic or digital money - it's easier to control and easier to keep taxpayers honest - but are those gains worth the drawbacks? I mean what's wrong with cash - you can spend it anywhere, you can pay your babysitter, go to a garage sale, or stop at a lemonade stand - all of which are part of our underground economy by definition and harmless uses of transferring money.
Then there are the illegal things, no one uses digital money because it leaves a trace, so you cannot use it to buy things you are not allowed to buy or that someone else is not allowed to sell. Does it thus, make sense to get rid of the money that allows illegal transactions, shut down the entire underground economy and if we do, will our society and civilization be better or worse off for that solution? Let's discuss this shall we?
Yes, a digital currency would be similar to regular currency and really we are almost there already anyway. If we go to "digital units" and change the paradigm to cover the needs of people who contribute who are not rewarded fairly now, then we will get more of what we reward, as is the famous axiom. A technocrat would enjoy this conversation and the thought of micro-managing the exact worth of every job, but technocrats are not so good at considering their own created unforeseen consequences as they pave the road to hell.
The reason humans use money now is simply because things and choices are more complicated than they were in the past when our species were only hunters, gatherers and traders. Let me explain; you see, if I make hammers and you need one, but you only have cattle, then you cannot cut off the tail of your cow to buy my hammer, so instead you give me $11 and you can sell your cow in the future for $1100 and give me the one-percent of it so you can build a new barn.
Money and currency is nothing more than units of trade thus, make things easier, that's why it exists, but I do not like the bashing of currency, digital or otherwise, where many believe it is the root of all evil. I respectfully disagree. Please consider all this and think on it, as this topic does affect your life.
Lance Winslow has launched a new provocative series of eBooks on Future Concepts. Lance Winslow is a retired Founder of a Nationwide Franchise Chain, and now runs the Online Think Tank; http://www.worldthinktank.net