Australia says cash about to become illegal for purchases over $7,500

One great thing about cash is its anonymity – nobody, including the government, can easily stick their nose in your beeswax when you're using physical banknotes and coins. But anonymity is about to become more scarce in Australia, which is about to make it illegal to purchase anything over $10,000 AU ($7,500 US) with cash.

The Australian government, who announced the new cash ban on Tuesday, says it wants to discourage money laundering and tax evasion by “encouraging the transition to a digital society.” And to enforce the new law, the government will depend on the "Black Economy Standing Taskforce," which will be focusing on Australia's black market tobacco trade.

According to Gizmodo:

As The Guardian points out, one of the biggest targets for the new task force will be the illicit tobacco trade. Australia has the highest tax on cigarettes in the world, with an average pack costing about $40 AU ($30 US). But there’s a huge black market for cigarettes, which comes from both stolen goods and smuggling from outside the country. Taxes aren’t paid on cigarettes until the point of sale, so theft from tobacco warehouses is unusually common in Australia.

But ordinary small business owners aren't happy about the ban.

“It’s going to screw me—95 percent of my business is cash collections,” Paul Thomas, owner of Commander Security Services in Sydney, told News Corp this week. “On a monthly basis, we could process and move up to $4-5 million—either picking up cash, processing and EFT-ing it to customers’ accounts, or recarrying it from customers to their bank branch.”

Today it’s any sum over $10,000 in Australia, but anyone with their eyes open can see where this is going.

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Florida man attacks ATM after it dispenses too much money

Michael Joseph Oleksik, of Cocoa, Fla., was charged Friday with criminal mischief after reportedly attacking an ATM machine that gave him too much money. USA Today reports that he caused at least $5000 worth of damage to the device.

Authorities said Oleksik can be seen on surveillance video standing at the ATM, pummeling the electronic teller’s touch screen on Nov. 29. A short time later, an apologetic Oleksik called the bank and told a manager that he punched the ATM because he was ‘angry the ATM was giving him too much money and he did not know what to do,’

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Man buried retirement cash, only to have it eaten by worms

Five years ago, a fisherman in Deyang, China, buried his entire life savings. The amount he buried totaled about US$5,500. When Wu Chen, 67, and his family recently dug it up, they discovered that the plastic bag the bills were in had deteriorated. Worms and insects had eaten through much of his cash. Read the rest

Amazingly fast counting of Chinese cash

Watch those fingers go!

Below, a classic video showing more cash counting techniques from around the world:

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