Cash, Crime, and Cryptocurrencies
32 Pages Posted: 25 Feb 2019
Date Written: February 8, 2019
In The Curse of Cash, Kenneth Rogoff lists reductions in criminal activity and tax evasion among the primary benefits of eliminating cash. We maintain that, to the extent that individuals are interested in purchasing illicit goods and services or evading taxes, eliminating cash will encourage them to switch to close substitutes. Hence, governments intent on realizing the benefits cited by Rogoff would not merely need to eliminate cash. They would also need to ban alternatives. This is especially relevant given the proliferation of cryptocurrencies, which provide a fair degree of anonymity for users.
Keywords: bitcoin, cash, crime, criminal activity, cryptocurrency, currency, money, money matching, political economy, tax, taxation; tax evasion
JEL Classification: C78, E41, E42, E50
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation