That was the title of a book (by David R. Warwick, Copyright 1998) that caught my eye as I was walking the aisles of my local library.
His thesis is that eliminating physical currency (dollar bills and coins) and making all monetary transactions electronic will vastly reduce crime. I’ve found this argument to be very convincing.
Robberies for cash would become a completely pointless exercise. Thieves could choose to steal jewelry and other valuables and try to sell them, but there would always be a record of the transaction that authorities could trace.
Drug dealing would be vastly less lucrative without an anonymous medium of exchange.
There would no longer be any such thing as “under the table” work. Making it easier to crack down on employers that hire illegal immigrants, and to bust tax evaders.
I can think of one good objection: Privacy concerns. I don’t want authorities to be able to go on fishing expeditions, sorting through everybody’s data willy nilly. But as long as they have a search warrant and probable cause (which is good enough to search a house or wiretap a phone) I’m ok with all monetary transaction being recorded.