The European Central Bank (ECB) is reportedly considering ditching the denomination (paywall) in a bid to tackle what ECB governor Mario Draghi called the “increasing conviction in world public opinion” that these notes are used for money-laundering and the financing of terrorism.
The Financial Times reported that an “informal decision” has already been taken by the euro zone’s central bank to withdraw the €500 bill from circulation.
And it’s not just central bankers who feel this way. A recent study by Harvard’s Kennedy School called for the euro’s highest denomination notes—the €500, €200, and €100 notes—to be progressively eliminated. Researchers note in the study:
We face an acute threat from well-financed international terrorism, most notably ISIS. Actions that help disrupt the economic underpinnings of such activity must be a priority.
The slow-motion start of going cashless has begun in Europe whereby the anonymity of cash will be replaced by the total control of the banks and the loss of said anonymity. The art of Newspeak lives.