What will the future of money look like? Imagine walking into a restaurant and looking up at the digital menu board at your favorite combo meal. Only, instead of it being priced at $8.99, it’s shown as.009 BTC.
Can crypto really be the future of money? The answer to that question hinges on the overall consensus on several key decisions ranging from ease of use to security and regulations.
Let’s examine both sides of the (digital) coin and compare and contrast traditional fiat money with cryptocurrency.
The first and most important component is trust.
It’s imperative that people trust the currency they’re using. What gives the dollar its value? Is it gold? No, the dollar hasn’t been backed by gold since the 1970s. Then what is it that gives the dollar (or any other fiat currency) value? Some countries’ currency is considered more stable than others. Ultimately, it’s people’s trust that the issuing government of that money stands firmly behind it and essentially guarantees its “value.”
How does trust work with Bitcoin since it’s decentralized meaning there isn’t a governing body that issues the coins? Bitcoin sits on the blockchain which is basically an online accounting ledger that allows the whole world to view each and every transaction and Blockchain Venture Capital. Each of these transactions is verified by miners (people operating computers on a peer to peer network) to prevent fraud and also ensure that there is no double spending. In exchange for their services of maintaining the integrity of the blockchain, the miners receive a payment for each transaction they verify. Since there are countless miners trying to make money each one checks each other’s work for errors. This proof of work process is why the blockchain has never been hacked. Essentially, this trust is what gives Bitcoin value.
Next let’s look at trust’s closest friend, security and Blockchain Venture Capital
How about if my bank is robbed or there is fraudulent activity on my credit card? My deposits with the bank are covered by FDIC insurance. Chances are my bank will also reverse any charges on my card that I never made. That doesn’t mean that criminals won’t be able to pull off stunts that are at the very least frustrating and time consuming. It’s more or less the peace of mind that comes from knowing that I’ll most likely be made whole from any wrongdoing against me.
In crypto, there’s a lot of choices when it comes to where to store your money. It’s imperative to know if transactions are insured for your protection. There are reputable exchanges such as Finance and Coinbase that have a proven track record of righting wrongs for their clients. Just like there are less than reputable banks all over the world, the same is true in crypto.
What happens if I throw a twenty dollar bill into a fire? The same is true for crypto. If I lose my sign in credentials to a certain digital wallet or exchange then I won’t be able to have access to those coins. Again, I can’t stress enough the importance of conducting business with a reputable company.
The next issue is scaling. Currently, this might be the biggest hurdle that’s preventing people from conducting more transactions on the blockchain. When it comes to the speed of transactions, fiat money moves much quicker than crypto. Visa can handle about 40,000 transactions per second. Under normal circumstances, the blockchain can only handle around 10 per second. However, a new protocol is being enacted that will skyrocket this up to 60,000 transactions per second. Known as the Lightning Network, it could result in making crypto the future of money.