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Two Compelling Events That Show The Need For Cryptocurrencies

by Alan Daniel

Privacy and Surveillance Capitalism
According to a reporter from Quartz, there was a significant line at the train ticketing machines in China. Now, this wouldn’t necessarily be news in a normal situation, but this was something different altogether. The assertion is that underlying reason for this demand was the need for privacy. Users wanted to purchase old fashioned tickets with physical currency to avoid potential demerits on their citizens’ record.

The speculation is that a significant portion of these individuals was part of an ongoing protest over a controversial China extradition bill. These protests are over Hong Kong sovereignty, democracy, and freedom as China proposes to extradite fugitives from Hong Kong, a potentially slippery slope for Hong Kong.

Neeraj from Coincenter commented that “a cashless society is a surveillance society; here’s exactly why we need a private version of electronic cash.”

This is just one instance of how a lack of privacy and a move to full digitization of everyday interactions and transactions can lead to surveillance capitalism, a transition that can certainly impinge on liberty and rights.

Italy and Tax on Savings
In a not so stunning move by another European country riddled with debt and struggling economy, Italy has proposed a plan to “tax cash and other valuables locked away in safety deposit boxes held with bank” according to Reuters.
The proposal was put forth by the Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Selvini.

According to Reuters, the prime minister was informed of the “hundreds of billions of euros” present within safety deposit boxes in the country. The Deputy Prime Minister seemed to indicate that placing money in safety deposit boxes effectively made them “substantially hidden” and that this was a form of potential tax evasion.

While tax evasion would certainly hold a struggling country back, a blanket tax on all safety deposit boxes would certainly be a cause for concern. This points to the problem that the debt crisis in Italy and other European nations is real and is something to watch.

According to Investopedia, the Five Star Movement and the Lega Nord, the ruling coalition in Italy, stated that their budget would increase deficit spending to “2.4 percent of GDP”. Instead of an overall reduction in debt, the country will push forward with more debt.

Italy’s problems are not just economic, they are political as well, the two are deeply intertwined. The country has been on the path to instability, and as such, its problems are expected to worsen.

Italy owes in excess of 2 trillion euros, has higher rates of youth unemployment, with overall unemployment hovering around 10.2% as of April 2019.

Indeed, the country does seem to be in a state of perma-recession and will continue to face problems with calls for more taxation on hard-earned assets. With a public debt level that is 132.2% of the GDP, Italy swims in ever increasing debt, and it will have to find additional ways to draw even more money from its system.

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