When bitcoin faithful began preaching the virtues of anonymous currencies, the pitch sounded familiar.
“I thought, ‘Haven’t we got that already?’” said Kirsten Thompson, a partner at Dentons and national lead of the firm’s transformative technologies and data strategy group.
“Cash, not bitcoin, was the original anonymous currency and we lose something by getting rid of it.”
In advising big banks and financial services companies on cybersecurity and payment systems, Ms. Thompson is more attuned than most to the risks and implications of cashless payments.
The shift toward a cashless society is well under way in Canada, as credit and debit cards, online transactions and digital wallets increasingly replace cash as the preferred modes of payment. Cash now accounts for just 12 per cent of point-of-sale transactions, according to Payments Canada’s most recent report. And payment processor Moneris forecasts that, by 2030, just 10 per cent of all commercial transactions in Canada will be settled with cash.