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Can Covid-19 Kill Cash and What Will It Mean for Bitcoin?





It has been argued many times that for purposes of money laundering and conducting black market activities Bitcoin in fact does not even come close to its predecessor—hard cash. In fact, some go as far as to claim it is foolish to rely on Bitcoin for traditional illicit activities while cash still exists.

This argument was universally used to show how laughable it was to brand Bitcoin a “haven for criminals” all while the good old cash was a much better and more reliable tool for shady dealings. But the truth is regulators also understand this and they have been researching and developing solutions to possibly replace the physical cash or at least put it under tighter control.

That being said, the general consensus has long been that while cash is fighting an uphill battle, it will not truly go away any time soon for a number of objective reasons. However, some recent developments in the world may catalyze this process and make the demise of cash inevitable.

Why Is Cash So Enduring?

Cash is in fact a fantastic means of payment. It does possess certain qualities that can not be easily replicated even by the most advanced technology. Cash is actually untraceable, secure, and accepted everywhere one goes. It does not rely on Internet connection, electricity, and the availability of certain devices.

It can be stolen but is otherwise protected from most types of fraud. It is incredibly popular and widespread. For those who are poor and/or do not have reliable access to banking, cash is also absolutely vital.

And of course, this all makes it a real haven for criminals.

Then Why Is Cash Doomed?

To be fair, we knew for a while that cash was not going to make it into the future. And arguably, Bitcoin was to cashless future what Elon Musk was to Martian colonies. We always knew we were going to have them, but now we fully expect them to happen in our lifetimes. For the past decade, the conversation about cash going away has reached its peak and became less theoretical and more observational.

We now have a clear and logical understanding of why cash is not going to make it. The reality of our lives right now dictates that our day-to-day activities, including the financial ones, are increasingly moving online. Technologies are evolving while safety and transparency increasingly become more important values than privacy and anonymity. Regulators do not really want us to use cash, this vessel of corruption and criminal activities, and it seems that most of us begrudgingly agree.

China is far ahead of everyone else on the frontlines of the war on cash. Being an authoritarian state it can safely ignore its citizens’ thoughts on privacy, and emphasize the need for safety and control. Even now the most popular instrument for payments in urban areas is online currencies maintained by Chinese online giants Alibaba and Tencent. And the latest developments suggest that China will emerge from the pandemic with a strong digital currency that will potentially be even more widespread than the existing digital payment methods.

The USA is notoriously more liberal and until now was not ready to bail on cash. Some regulators are already fighting an uphill battle against the advance of cashless businesses.

In Europe, regulators follow the opposite trend, artificially limiting the amount of cash that consumers are allowed to spend or transfer. Such limits exist in Italy, Spain, and some other countries. A similar restriction is being introduced in Australia.

Scandinavian countries are already halfway to the cashless society. Many banks in Sweden no longer deal in cash. The use of cash for payments has plummeted to 10% by 2018.

Despite all this, the general consensus saw the demise of cash questionable or at least gave it another 20 to 60 years.

Covid-19 may have changed everything.

Dirty Money

We kind of always knew that licking fingertips when counting money was a gross and unhealthy habit. As early as 2014 researchers at New York University have identified as many as 3,000 kinds of bacteria living on dollar bills. While the Daily Mail noted, that there were more germs on a £1 coin than a toilet seat.

But what really could be the bell tolling for cash was the WHO’s warning that banknotes may be spreading Covid-19.

On March 3rd, the World Health Organization issued a warning against cash payments, suggesting to instead switch to contactless payment methods to avoid the transmission of the virus. Following this we have seen a slew of measures directed at handling paper money during the pandemic, including world governments quarantining banknotes, especially coming from abroad.

Cash payments were already seeing a decline in many technologically advanced countries as more and more businesses transition to credit and virtual payments. But the lockdown posed a challenge before all businesses, who now had to respect the social distancing rules while serving their customers.

According to Square, there were only 8% of self-described cashless sellers in the U.S. on March 1. But by April 23, that number went up to 31% and the growing trend is continuing. The numbers tripled in a matter of months and the pandemic is nowhere near its end.

Moreover, it is not just cash that came under scrutiny during the Covid-19 pandemic but also instruments that facilitate its use. We have seen specialists warning the public about using ATMs too. And some studies show that credit cards may potentially be even more contaminated than currency.

All this led to an increase in consumer demand for all forms of contactless payment. As reported by The Futurist Group in a March research, the WHO announcement initiated a huge shift in consumer payment preferences. According to the research, 38% of consumers evaluating a credit card offer with a contactless feature indicated that this feature is a “table stake” need, a 26.6% increase compared to the period prior to WHO warning.

What Cashless Society Means for Bitcoin?

Some experts predict that the immediate future of money may not be in fact cryptocurrencies but the CBDC. Still, Bitcoin’s adoption will likely benefit from the governments’ efforts to discontinue paper money.

An important thing to consider here is that without cash there will be no convenient and reliable means to transact value without the government tracking and controlling your money other than Bitcoin. If there is no cash then all illicit activities will indeed shift to Bitcoin. Yet without cash, it would be nigh impossible to money-launder darknet Bitcoins and withdraw them into the normal economy. This may lead to a situation where two economies exist simultaneously and do not really interact. One—absolutely transparent and controlled by the government, and another—anonymous, volatile, and shady.

This leads to a surprising conclusion that Bitcoin perhaps needs the cash as a scapegoat and a buffer to avoid actually being marginalized and dogged by the state.

Governments claim that CBDCs will enable them to better protect citizens from criminals and terrorists. This is true but still ignores the risk of the government itself becoming corrupt and tyrannical. Total control over money will make such a corrupt government incredibly potent and virtually invincible.

Bitcoin can become the financial equivalent of the second amendment. A weaponized financial instrument to protect citizens from the corrupt government.

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How followers on Instagram can help to navigate your brand during a pandemic




People around the globe are indeed trying to accept the new norms of social distancing. Even a small business owner and Instagram marketing managers are undertaking pivotal campaigns to make changes on content calendars to launch products or services. They are working on new ideas to ensure the engagement of the audience. It is indispensable to stay connected on Instagram more than ever, as most businesses presently rely on social media.

It is through the proper marketing channels of Instagram that you will be able to connect to the world. You can even use Instagram for entertainment, but you must understand that businesses rely on Instagram’s marketing channels due to a pandemic outbreak. Now the most obvious question that pops up is how to use Instagram in the era of COVID-19?

 Is it necessary to buy followers on Instagram to push your brand?

Just because there is an outbreak of pandemic does not mean you have to stop marketing or selling your brand. You have to continue posting on Instagram to entice the audience consistently. Since your audience is spending more time on Instagram than ever, it is an excellent opportunity for you to grab their attention and convert them into loyal customers. Pandemic brought with itself a unique opportunity for marketers to strengthen the relationship with the audience and increase affinity towards their brand. However, you cannot run the business through the usual channels.

There is a lot of anxiety and sensitivities among the masses. As such, you have to change methods of brand promotion to go with the flow. Change is something that has become constant in the world presently. Brand managers have to devise ways to embrace the uncertainty of present times by consistently dealing with unique challenges. Small business owners are finding it very difficult to juggle between selling and marketing to stay in business. Now the question arises what kind of content to post on Instagram presently?


The present scenario exposes a brand new market or territory for all social media managers today in a competent manner. You need to understand that the situation that is confronting the world is something very new and unique. The marketing managers do not have an idea about how to market their products or Instagram during a global pandemic. As such, you cannot find tried and tested strategies for selling your products and services during such a challenging time. However, particular suggestions can help you sustain in the market during a period of crisis.

Guiding principles to market your brand or Instagram during a pandemic.

Learn to accept the new normal

It is not a good idea for marketers to ignore the norms of the new normal. It would help if you inform your followers about the latest social distancing norms and encourage them to abide by it.

It is effortless for you to convey to your audience that you know what is happening around and are concerned about the present situation. Many celebrities have smartly put up that it is very awkward to promote your products and services during such a crisis, but they had plans to do so because they have to provide for their employees.

Many marketers have mentioned that it is an effort to sustain the jobs of their employees. Thus they have to boost their sales on Instagram. Therefore it was a smart move to market products while showing concern for the employees. All you do is acknowledge the current crisis to humanize your brand effectively.

Be consistent with your content

You need to understand that your followers are devoting more time to social media than ever before. Thus it has become much easier for you to connect to your followers and market your products and services. Try to upload content that aligns with the values of your brand to engage consumer prospects. The caption that you upload is also essential because it gives a context to your content that would remain forever. Try to use captions that would acknowledge the crisis while proactively giving solutions to sanitization concerns. However, it would be best to encourage your followers regarding social distancing and isolation to abide by the new normal.

Express empathy

As you know, the pandemic is affecting everybody around the globe in various matters. Thus it would help if you extended your sympathy beyond your situation. It would help if you expressed empathy; add compassion for your followers to make a bond. Do not just post engaging memes without showing concern for your followers. You do not need to speak about COVID-19 in all your captions and post, but the tone should express concern about people worldwide.

It would help if you acknowledged that some of your followers might have become jobless, some must have lost their loved ones, some might be struggling to work from home, etc. As such, your content should acknowledge your followers’ struggles and appreciate their efforts.

Some social media managers believe you must buy followers on Instagram to expand your clientele base during the crisis.


Source:  Andrew Thompson is a content developer and online marketing guru. Having worked at an SEO expert company for the last three years, He also advises helping on Instagram to expand your clientele base and share effective SEO tips, strategies, and the latest developments and sure-shot strategies people can take to climb SERP rankings.

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Cyber Security

How Was 2020 Cyber Security Awareness Month?




Global corporate enterprise and indeed global society is aware of the concept of cyber security. Personally Identifyable Information (PII) data leaks, continued personal phishing expeditions and state-based adversary hacking have all brought cyber security into focus for the average person.

The average Board member is certainly more aware of the value of cyber security than in years past due in part to ransomware payments. And front-lines employees are certainly more aware of the value of cyber security due to an increased understanding of what not to do.

The state of cyber security is indeed strong. As the Cyber Security Hub Year End Report will elucidate, nearly 80% of the community feels that the overall state of cyber security, meaning operations, resiliency, compliance, awareness, etc., is improving.

But that is of course through the end of the day today. As cyber security professionals know, it’s all about tomorrow. And tomorrow is going to be a bear.


A few years of the Mid-Year and Year End reports has shown a sustained focus and expense on Security Awareness. Cyber security executives seem comfortable with the returns to date. But we are now in a whole new world and the pre-pandemic security awareness quotient does not cut it.

Key Questions:

  • How often are you in front of the organization regarding security awareness?
  • Are you expediting security awareness the same way that you’ve always done it?
  • Is each person in the organization aware of all of the new threat vectors?


The Cyber Security Hub Automation Report is fresh out with some key takeaways. More needs to be done than there is dollars to do. Automated attacks are on the rise and the global pandemic has not been kind to budgets. That means that organizations must make choices on if they can handle any amount of cyber security automation investment.

The luckier ones are making choices on what to automate with a better understanding of the fact that while automation might eventually reduce overhead, the human resources needed to make automation work have to be found and added first.

Key Questions:

  • Do you have budget for automation?
  • If yes, do you have the talent you need for automation?
  • If no, what technical debt do you have that you could lose?


We just started the Zero Trust conversation and we have to also start the SASE conversation. Our friends at Okta have a handy chart that shows four levels of a Zero Trust organization. The first level is level zero (no-relation). Common wisdom has most of global corporate enterprise at either level zero or level one. Most folks think that less than 10% are at level 3 (that’s the highest level).

The Cyber Security Hub Year End Report will showcase the fact that 75% of the community is telling us how they stopped worrying and learned to love the VPN. (That’s a reference to the title of Dr. Strangelove if you’re keeping score at home). The point being- a significant portion of the community is on the just at the front end of figuring out IAM & PAM for their organizations.

So we’ve got a long way to go on establishing a Zero Trust Network Architecture (ZTNA). And a ZTNA is only one piece of a Secure Access Service Edge (SASE). SASE is not brand new. Gartner released their first analysis of the concept at the end of last year. Solution providers do have offerings and the top of the market is buying.

Key Questions:

  • Where are you on the IAM/PAM continuum?
  • Where are you on the Zero Trust continuum?
  • Where are you on the SASE continuum?

Business Enablement

As you might know, we’ve consistently shared that cyber security has gone from the Department of No to the Department of Know ensuring that cyber security isn’t in the way of business enablement.

We’ve also covered the fact that the cyber security budget conversation with the board must no longer be based on fear but on risk. The budget conversation as we understand it is best presented by choices.

“If we implement X, spending Y, we’ll reduce risk by Z. If we don’t implement X, risk will increase by Alpha by Year End 2021.”

A significant portion of budgets for 2020 and maybe even some of 2021 were spent in March and April of 2020. The cyber crime rate is going up. To thwart the threats, cyber security executives must be tough. You’ve got threat vectors on all sides. And your budget has been shattered. (That’s a reference to Shattered by the Rolling Stones if you’re keeping score at home).

Key Questions:

  • How are you going into the budget conversation for 2021?
  • Are you able to educate the board and CEO using a risk paradigm?

Happy Cyber Security Month from Cyber Security Hub. You’ve got to be a CISO to know how much mental and intestinal fortitude is needed to get the job done. We have awareness and appreciation of how hard the job is- and the fact that it just keeps getting tougher. So take a breath, focus as you do, get back out there and keep us safe. Thank you for doing the job.


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Sci-fi Shooter Hive Slayer is Free, Asks Players for Louisiana Hurricane Relief Donations Instead




There are plenty of free virtual reality (VR) games if you know where to look but King Crow Studios’ latest wants to make a real-world difference at the same time. The studio has released Hive Slayer for free this week, instead asking players to donate what they can to a charitable cause.

Hive Slayer

Hive Slayer is a classic arcade-style shooter where you have to defeat swarms of alien invaders across three gameplay modes using an array of powerups. Equipped with a matrix gauntlet (shield) and plasma blaster, Standard Mode is all about clearing waves, mini-bosses and end bosses. Arcade Mode requires columns of enemies to be defeated before they get too close, whilst Endless Mode is exactly that, endless.

To aid in this endeavour the plasma blaster has three firing modes, standard, shotgun and hair-trigger sniper. You also need to keep an eye out for the powerups which need to be shot, adding rapid-fire, shield recharge and bomb to destroy multiple enemies. All the modes feature online leaderboards to add a little competition.

A fairly standard wave shooter by the looks of it. But because King Crow Studios is based in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, the developer is giving the videogame away for free to encourage players to make any donation to the Community Foundation of Southwest Louisiana Hurricane Relief & Recovery Fund.

Hive Slayer

“The entire world is in the grip of a deadly pandemic, and us Louisianians are dealing with that on top of two deadly and massively destructive hurricanes, Laura and Delta. These catastrophic forces have displaced tens of thousands of people in our area. They have destroyed homes, local business, and lives,” says the studio in a statement.

“The impact of the hurricanes has hit us on a very personal level. Our founder Cody Louviere has been travelling multiple times a week to Lake Charles, Louisiana – hurricane ground zero. A Lake Charles native, he’s been working with his own family – his mother, his father, and siblings – to try to save and repair their homes in the middle of these back-to-back natural disasters.”

100%  of net proceeds will go to the fund which provides food, shelter, medicine, and all other necessities. Supporting PC VR headsets you can download Hive Slayer via, Steam or by going directly to the CFSLHRF site. For further updates keep reading VRFocus.


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