The combination of fintech and biometrics or the "Cashless Biometric Control Grid," as James Corbett calls it, is being experimented with in India with big help from the U.S. government; this under the guise of fighting counterfeit Indian currency and 'black' money -- this despite the fact that only 6-10 percent of Indian black money is kept in cash. So what was once the province of conspiracy theorists is now well on its way to becoming reality.
Although the YouTube video is long (43 minutes) Corbett's January 27 crash course, Demonetization and You, is the clearest overview of the complicated subject I've found so far. One of the articles he quotes is by German business journalist Norbert Haering, published at Haering's site on January 1 and at the anti-globalist site Global Research. It's titled A Well-Kept Open Secret: Washington Is Behind India’s Brutal Demonetization Project.
The big news to emerge from Haering's research is that USAID was involved with promoting the Indian currency swap. However, Haering doesn't get into how the biometric I.D. aspect, which translates to virtual total surveillance capacity, combines with the digital cashless society, whereas Corbett's report does. It's necessary to learn about this aspect if you want to understand why the big picture Haering refers to is so scary.
Corbett also outlines ways that people can use 'off the grid' monetary tools to evade the long reach of the totalitarian surveillance-and-monetary control state. But he admits that current laws can make it relatively easy for governments, and in particular the American one, to quash monetary self-reliance. Only when a great many people rise up to protest will the totalitarians back off a bit.
More about Corbett's crash course on demonetization is available at his website, the Corbett Report, along with a handy reference to the minute marks on the video report that relate to specific topics; e.g., Satya Sagar's interview, the Indian government's project to fingerprint and iris scan over a billion people, etc., and reports that specifically address the topics. The supplemental material related to the video report is well organized.
As to whether there's anything benign about the cashless biometric society, there is. But diversity of choices is far more benign, even without the very real threat of evil people getting in control of the system. There are manmade and natural reasons why it's folly to make societies dependent on a single digital system that controls all monetary transactions; cyberwar and geomagnetic storms being just two examples.
The name of the survival game in this century is diversification. I'll toss in that the greatest enemy of survival is over-specialization, which leads to such blinkered views that galactic-sized chunks of reality are completely missed by experts.
Thus we found Pundita in 2009, jumping up and down at her blog and screaming at the CDC and WHO, 'You idiots, your mathematical models are out of date!'
But the CDC and WHO were unaware that the present era in air travel included huge numbers of international airports built all over the world. And so they refused to believe that swine flu could go from the outbreak stage to pandemic stage in one leap because their math told them this couldn't happen.
By the time they figured it out, it was too late to battle swine flu at the airports, although lucky for the human race China's government did immediately realize what was happening. And so the Chinese clawed out just enough hours to get a vaccine into production before the inevitable exponential spread of the virus overwhelmed their defenses.
As to what would have happened if they hadn't, this is something you don't want to think about because swine flu was more deadly and infectious and took far more lives than the CDC and WHO knew during the height of the pandemic, although neither agency took out billboards to announce these grim discoveries later on.
That's what is out there. The only offset is diversification -- diversification of problem-solving approaches, diversification of knowledge, diversification of critical systems. To include monetary systems.