Scientists have developed paper containing ultra-thin, undetectable Radio Frequency Identification Chips (RFID), and in doing so may have taken a huge step towards ending “dark money” cash transfers.
“Dark Money” has been described in political terms as money that’s not traceable, can affect political contests or motivations, and most importantly that the populace knows nothing about.
Oftentimes dark money trades hands via digital bank transfers — big trouble is, those leave a trail. There’s a more secure kind of dark money: hard cash.
Recently, Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai admitted that the CIA gave him “grocery bags of cash” to the tune of millions of dollars. He also said Iran had done the same thing, though Iran’s cash transfers to Karzai came in the form of Euros.
The new technology (still patent-pending) uses a laser beam’s energy to transfer the transfer the chips into notes, according to the BBC. Such a technological revolution could help staunch the global flow of illicit cash.
As Jeremy Hsu of the tech blog IEEE Spectrum put it, “A simple act of cash changing hands could become a lot less private.”