There are plenty of advantages of using this Cyclos-based N-Euro system.
- It's totally free to run! People will be able to pay the bill in a
restaurant with no cost at all. If you are the restaurant owner, would
you prefer N-Euros (which have no transaction costs) or conventional
Euros paid for with a credit card, and where VISA will charge you 3-4%
for handling the transaction. The people at Cyclos already have versions
that run on iPhones, iPads and Android devices. You can make payments
by SMS, and they are introducing PoS (Point of Sale) systems too.
- There is no possibility of cheating. If someone does not have enough
N-Euros on their account to make the payment, it simply won't go
through (because I've set the system up so that negative values are not
- For the local authority, N-Euros can be produced for free!
Obviously, there have to be controls over what can be paid for using the
N-Euros. I think that you would need to have some sort of elected body
to check that all the N-Euros generated by the Authority were
justified. This would be the case if they were used to pay part of the
salary of people working for the Authority. Any payment that would not
be approved the committee could be made illegal.
- Since the authority can control both the creation of N-Euros (via
payments made to citizens) and their withdrawal (by paying taxes), it
would easy for them to control the total quantity of N-Euros in
circulation. If at any point it was felt that there were too many
N-Euros in the system, it would be very easy to add a financial
transaction tax that would remove a small percentage every time a
payment was made.
- There is abolutely no need for paper N-Euros or coins. Everything is
entirely handled by the software. Indeed the only place they can exist
is in the database of the computer. They cannot be moved to offshore
taxhavens, or hidden under mattresses.
- They cannot be used for illegal activity. Since there would be a
public record of every N-Euro payment, you would be very foolish to try
and organise anything criminal using N-Euros. Obviously, only people
with administrator status would normally be in a position to find out
about specific transactions, which should provide sufficient
confidentiality for most people. If anyone really needed to guarantee
confidentiality, they should use some other payment mechanism (like
paying cash in conventional Euros).