What will the future of money look like? Imagine entering a restaurant and looking at the digital menu board for your favorite combination dish. Only instead of priced at $ 8.99, it shows up as 009 BTC.
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Can crypto really be the future of money? The answer to this question depends on a general consensus on several key solutions, ranging from ease of use to security and regulations.
Let’s look at both sides of the (digital) coin and compare and contrast traditional fiat money with cryptocurrency.
The first and most important component is trust.
It is imperative that people trust the currency they use. What gives value to the dollar? Is it gold? No, the dollar has not been backed by gold since the 1970s. So what gives value to the dollar (or any other fiat currency)? The currency of some countries is considered more stable than others. Ultimately, people’s trust is that the government that betrays them stands firmly behind them and essentially guarantees their “value.”
How does trust work with bitcoin, as it is decentralized, which means that they are not a governing body that issues coins? Bitcoin sits on the blockchain, which is actually an online ledger that allows the whole world to view every transaction. Each of these transactions is checked by miners (people working with computers on an equal footing) to prevent fraud and ensure that there are no double costs.
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In exchange for their services to maintain the integrity of the blockchain, miners receive payment for each transaction they verify. Since there are countless miners trying to make money, everyone checks to see if others are working for mistakes. This proof of the workflow is why the blockchain has never been hacked. In essence, this trust is what gives value to bitcoin.
Then let’s look at the closest friend of trust, security.
How about if my bank is robbed or there is a credit card fraud? My bank deposits are covered by FDIC insurance. Chances are that my bank will cancel all the fees on my card that I have never made. This does not mean that criminals will not be able to perform stunts that are the least frustrating and time consuming. More or less peace of mind comes from knowing that I will most likely be healed of any wrongdoing against me.
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In crypto there are many options for choosing where to store your money. It is imperative to know if the transactions are insured for your protection. There are reputable exchanges such as Binance and Coinbase that have proven experience in correcting mistakes for their clients. Just as there are fewer reputable banks around the world, the same is true for crypto.
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What if I throw a twenty-dollar bill into the fire? The same goes for crypto. If I lose my login details in a digital wallet or exchange, I will not be able to access these coins. Again, I can’t stress the importance of doing business with a reputable company.
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The next issue is scaling. Currently, this may be the biggest obstacle preventing people from making more transactions in the blockchain. In terms of transaction speed, fiat money moves much faster than crypto. Visa can process about 40,000 transactions per second. Under normal circumstances, the blockchain can only process about 10 per second. However, a new protocol is being introduced that will increase to 60,000 transactions per second. Known as the Lightning Network, it can turn crypto into the future of money.
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The conversation would not be complete without talking about convenience. What do people usually like in their traditional banking and spending methods? For those who prefer cash, it is obviously easy to use most of the time. If you are trying to book a hotel room or car rental, then you need a credit card. Personally, I use my credit card wherever I go for convenience, security and rewards.
Did you know that there are companies that provide all this in the crypto space? Monaco now issues cards with the Visa logo that automatically convert your digital currency into local currency for you.
If you have ever tried to make money with someone you know, this process can be very tedious and expensive. Blockchain transactions allow the user to send crypto to anyone in just minutes, no matter where they live. In addition, it is significantly cheaper and safer than sending a bank transfer.
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There are other modern methods of money transfer that exist in both worlds. Take applications such as Zelle, Venmo and Messenger Pay. These applications have been used for millions of millennia every day. Did you also know that they are starting to include crypto?
The Square Cash app now includes bitcoin, and CEO Jack Dorsey said, “Bitcoin doesn’t stop buying and selling for us. We believe it’s a transformational technology for our industry and we want to learn as soon as possible.”
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He added: “Bitcoin offers an opportunity to provide more people with access to the financial system.”
While it is clear that Fiat costs still dominate the way most of us move money, the new crypto system is fast becoming needed. Evidence is everywhere. Prior to 2017, it was difficult to find widespread media coverage. Now almost all the big business news covers Bitcoin. From Forbes to Fidelity, they all judge their opinions.
What is my opinion? Perhaps the biggest reason Bitcoin succeeds is that it is fair, inclusive and provides financial access to more people around the world. Banks and large institutions see this as a threat to their very existence. They seem to be at a losing end to the greatest transfer of wealth the world has ever seen.
Still haven’t decided? Ask yourself this question: “Do people trust governments and banks more or less with each passing day?”
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Your answer to this question may be what determines the future of money.