Crypto has been rolling off a lot of people's tongues in recent years.
Especially since the run-up of 2017 and 2021.
But, each of these historic rises, was followed close behind by a crypto winter.
However, it is far from being written off as a fossil, and as a matter of fact, a lot of people still see crypto as the future of financials.
The future of finance is still up in the air, but I believe crypto will play a big part in it. Cryptocurrencies have opened up the world of finance to people who would have never thought it possible. Cryptos like bitcoin are also finite and can be used as a store of value, like gold, but they're easier to mine.
Some believe cryptocurrencies like bitcoin are the perfect store of value and a hedge against inflation, while others see it as another bubble.
We’re now going to look into a few different areas to see what we can make of all this.
Is it the future of finance or is it all just smoke & mirrors?
Because most cryptocurrencies are decentralized and transactions can be done pretty much anywhere there’s an internet connection and peer-to-peer, it can open financial doors for people who have never been exposed to it before.
Also, unlike cryptos such as bitcoin, most fiat currencies are susceptible to devaluation due to the government's ability to create it at will, to spend on pet projects, whatever focus group they’re listening to, or however the political winds blow.
So because of this and other things, I believe crypto is going to continue to gain steam in the years ahead.
There was a survey done towards the end of last year (2022), by The Harris Poll at the behest of Grayscale Investments that tends to back this up, at least here in the U.S.
I’m just going to lay out a few of the key findings concerning crypto, but here’s a link to the 2022 midterm elections survey at Grayscale, for anyone who wants to look at it.
Now, these results will be from a small pool of likely U.S. voters that were surveyed.
First, it seems almost 50% of the Americans asked said they were familiar with crypto.
Also, most of them want clearer regulation when it comes to the crypto industry as a whole.
Next, one-fifth of registered American voters in this poll own crypto.
The last thing I’m going to touch on because it’s directly related to this post is that over 50% of the people who participated in this survey, Democrats and Republicans, agree that crypto represents the future of finance.
A store of value or wealth must be rare, difficult to fake, and increase in worth over time because no one will ever want to exchange a valuable asset for a worthless one or one that can be mass-produced with no limit.
Now like gold, bitcoin is finite, and there will only be 21 million bitcoin mined, so it fits this description and its financial worth should appreciate.
Also, an ideal store of value should be fungible – meaning it’s easily exchanged for an equivalent value of itself, whether that be as another whole or in smaller pieces.
For example, one dollar can be traded for four quarters pretty much anywhere in the United States.
Furthermore, one ounce of 24-karat gold is worth the same as another ounce of 24-karat gold, just as one bitcoin is equal to one bitcoin.
This is another characteristic that helps to promote Cryptocurrencies like bitcoin as a store of value.
In finance, money has three functions: a unit of account, a medium of exchange, and a store of value.
So as of now, the businesses that are accepting cryptocurrencies for payment are still rather few and their widespread acceptance as a means of exchange and payment will be essential to its future.
But there’s hope since the number of retailers accepting crypto payments is starting to increase.
Also, because of digital banking platforms & crypto debit cards, people have access to more products using cryptocurrencies than ever before.
Which should aid in its adoption as well.
Now, most cryptocurrencies are decentralized, but the people who purchase and use them will more than likely be living under some government rule.
So governments and any regulations they propose will affect cryptocurrencies in some way.
Now, there was an event at Brookings, which is a non-profit organization that does research into new ideas for solving problems that are facing society as a whole.
This event focused on the future of crypto regulation and here are a couple of the main points.
Again, here’s a link to the article “The future of crypto regulation: Highlights from the Brookings event” for anyone interested.
First, they’re suggesting that since 20% of Americans said they have traded in cryptocurrencies, especially younger people, men, and minorities, it’s different from other instruments regulated by the CFTC, such as commodities.
So that might impose challenges on the regulators that they haven’t seen before.
It also appears as if they might be specifically focusing on stablecoins, crypto exchanges & wallets, at least at first.
They’re also debating whether cryptocurrencies will advance financial inclusion.
In all, the jury is still out when it comes to regulation, because the amount and kind that governments impose, will either help or hurt the industry, but I doubt they will be able to destroy it altogether.
Since if they try to clamp down too hard, that’s just going to push more people to it.
The world’s financial revolution will be sparked by people's lack of economic access. However, because of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, more people are being introduced to the financial world than ever before. Also, a greater number of merchants are coming on board with cryptocurrencies and crypto debit cards are making a big showing as well. But before the crypto industry gains mainstream acceptance, it looks like it’s going to have to go through regulation. Let’s just hope that it’s sensible regulation. One last thing, according to a small-scale survey in the United States, over 50% of the people in it, believe crypto will be the future of finance.