7 signs the U.S. is moving toward a “cashless society”

… and what that means for your privacy and financial security

If you can’t imagine a world without cash… look around. Here are seven signs it’s already happening:

1.  Surge in paying with plastic –
Card payments in the U.S. rise every year. Last year, over 80% of U.S. consumer spending was cashless. Online shopping has nearly doubled since 2008. Even many churches have replaced collection plates with kiosks in the lobby.

2.  Many places no longer accept cash –
It is now common to see toll roads, parking meters, and public transit systems that don’t accept cash.

3.  No More Pennies? –
Washington is considering eliminating the lowly penny – which is largely shunned by Americans and costs more to mint than it’s worth.  Cash transactions would be rounded to the nearest nickel. (Canada got rid of its penny in 2013)

REVEALED: How to Protect Your Savings from the War on Cash

4.  Revamped bills with high-tech features –
When the new $100 bill was released in 2013, Ben Franklin was accompanied by a digital 3-D security ribbon, a holographic color-shifting bell, and raised printing along his right shoulder. These high tech features have blurred the line between “paper or plastic.”

5.  BitCoin, Apple Pay, and other payment innovations –
Cryptocurrencies are gaining popularity. Americans are increasingly comfortable waving their phones in front of scanners to complete purchases. Today, even sidewalk vendors hawking newspapers and flowers can accept credit card payments with a cell phone and small attachment.

6.  The Government Wants It –
Harvard economist Kenneth Rogoff was the first to publicly recommend phasing out paper currency, but he’s not alone. Willem Buiter, the chief economist at Citigroup, has also urged eliminating coins and bills. Central bankers like the idea of having total control over monetary policy, and politicians say it would help fight criminal activity in the “underground economy.”

ALERT: The Real Reason Obama Wants a Digital Dollar

7.  Europe is already doing it –
In May, the reserve bank of Denmark announced plans to stop printing paper money and minting coins by the end of 2016. The Danish government also drafted a law that would allow gas stations, restaurants, and small shops to refuse to accept cash as payment. A recent MasterCard analysis identified Denmark, Belgium, France, Sweden, Iceland, Singapore, and Canada as being well on their way to going completely cashless.

These changes have been happening gradually enough that Americans either haven’t noticed, or have embraced them as progressive and convenient. Most consumers, who are already effectively living in a cashless economy, don’t seem worried.

But there's a very dark side to all of this progress.

New York Times-bestselling author and economist Bill Bonner says Americans should be very concerned. In addition to the loss of privacy and exposure to cybercrime, there is a potentially catastrophic risk in allowing the U.S. to become a cashless society.

In an urgent new video, Bonner explains how the trend could jeopardize your wealth and retirement savings. A cashless society would not only further weaken our already shaky economy, but it would expose everyone to fundamental flaws in our financial system.

If you have investments or accounts in the U.S., you could be at risk.