Tag: Dirty

Dirty money: The case against cash in times of the coronavirus outbreak

On Friday, South Korea’s central bank said it was taking all banknotes out of circulation for two weeks — and burning some — to reduce the spread of the virus, according to Reuters. It follows China’s massive initiative around deep cleaning potentially infected cash with ultraviolet light and high temperatures, and in some cases, destroying it. The treated cash comes from high-risk infection areas, such as hospitals.
Meanwhile, the Louvre museum in Paris this week banned cash amid the outbreak. Its decision to accept only credit card payments was part of an effort to make staffers feel more comfortable about returning to work, according to the Associated Press.
The concerns over cash come as the global number of people infected by the coronavirus nears 100,000, mostly in China. The outbreak may just drive up adoption of mobile payments, a newer technology that has long trailed behind cash in the US,
Read More

Dirty Money – Scientific American

Perhaps all money should be laundered.

Studies have piled up in recent years describing exactly how filthy—specifically how bacteria-laden—our dollars and cents can be. Fecal bacteria and other pathogens may have hitched a ride from someone’s hands, nose or apron onto our cash. And yeast or mold might have taken hold, too. The result could be a durable risk to our health whenever our money changes hands.

The fibrous surfaces of U.S. currency provide ample crevices for bacteria to make themselves at home. And the longer any of that money stays in circulation, the more opportunity it has to become contaminated. Lower-denomination bills are used more often, so studies suggest our ones, fives and tens are more likely to be teeming with disease-causing bacteria. Some of these pathogens are known to survive for months, according to a recent review of “dirty money” studies. Unfortunately, dirty dollars—whether denominations of $1 or

Read More