Something BIG is happening in the area of world economics. It is the search for a system which will drastically alter our standard and way of living – one which will put an end to our use of cash, checks and personal credit. We are witnessing the birth process of a world without money, a cashless society!

Those are the words I wrote in 1974 in my very first book, Cashless Society: A World Without Money. I spoke of a day coming in which an “international” computer system would oversee and approve or disapprove every financial transaction, no matter how large or how small. Because it would be a “central” computer system, I called it “CenCom” and proceeded to tell how an average middle income family would live in a CenCom-controlled, cashless society. CenCom would approve every fuel purchase at the gas station, every soda purchase at the soda machine, every purchase of everything at every store. It would even play a major role in monthly bill payments.


Nearly 10 years later, CenCom became the Internet!

In 1998, the publisher of that first book asked if I would consider writing a sequel. My thought at the time was: If I do write a sequel, what would we call it? The term cashless society has fallen on hard times in recent years. No one would buy a book with the words “Cashless Society” on the cover.

As I pondered the challenge, I reflected on how far we had come since the early ‘70s … and the fact that, indeed, our global economy had become more intangible than tangible. Business every-where was now being done “at the speed of thought” (Gates, 1999). And it was all being conducted over a CenCom-type network that spoke only one language: digital! A “digitized” culture with an economy that has gone “digital” – Diginomics! A brand new word!

New word for a new world

My first venture into the world of the Internet came with the publishing of my first article on the digital economy, “Diginomics” – Reviewing the New Globalized Digital Economy on December 1, 1998. Since then, the word itself has taken off worldwide. In 2007, the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary was the first to capture the word and use my definition. Suddenly, global conferences, workshops, seminars, books, articles, university-level classes, websites and more bearing the word Diginomics have emerged online. And, more recently, Travis Patron has awakened to this trend in diginomics to give new focus to the reigning king of diginomic “money” – Bitcoin!

New Money Perspective

The Wall Street Journal quoted a banking consultant in its November 30, 2011 edition as saying, “Many of today’s bankers don’t quite get the fact there is a new normal, a new world order that is coming to banking.” Author and IT consultant Don Tapscott supports that view in his 1996 best seller, THE DIGITAL ECONOMY: “This new global situation is turning the world economy upside down. The economy for the Age of Networked Intelligence is a digital economy.”

Bitcoin appears to be the new leader of an emerging industry of digital currencies known as “cybercurrencies.” It’s what Joel Kurtzman first coined in his 1993 book, THE DEATH OF MONEY, as “megabyte money.”

Case in point: only one in ten US dollars in circulation today is a physical note—the kind you can hold in your hand or put in your wallet. The other nine are virtual.

– McKinsey & Company special report: “The Global Grid” (June 2010)

Welcome to the World of Diginomics!

This is part one of a three part series on our diginomic world by Wallace Wood. Read part two & part three.