Some people consider cryptocurrency a novel concept because it isn’t controlled by a government, bank, or central authority. In reality in the UK that might not be of huge importance or significance.
We are lucky! We already have financial institutions that generally work reasonably well for us, our economy is stable and strong. Almost everyone has access to banking. We have a government that we can trust not to steal from its citizens. We are reasonably free to express ourselves, our views and opinions.
However, we are the minority. There are many places across the world that don’t have these privileges.
If you live in Venezuela the economic meltdown has resulted in hyperinflation that is devaluing their currency literally by the day. Imagine if what you get paid one day only had half the purchasing power two weeks later. To pay for everyday household goods by cash you would need a wheelbarrow full of Venezuelan Bolivar. To the people who live here Bitcoin provides another option to a failing economy. Although Bitcoins price can be hugely volatile, to a lot of people in Venezuela it’s a better and safer store of value than their fiat currency. It is giving its people a means to survive the current economic crisis.
Now… try and imagine this… You are an immigrant fleeing a war zone with your family. You need to cross borders and check points with everything you own to start a new life. You don’t have a bank account. You have your life savings in cash… Sadly, Not for long!!! After passing through a checkpoint and a run-in with some corrupt border patrol guards you have been robbed of everything you own. Consider the benefit bitcoin can provide to people in situations like this. It could give them a means to carry their life savings using just an 18 word phrase which no-one can steal from them. No-one even knows they have it! Once they get to their destination they can restore a bitcoin wallet using that 18 word phrase and sell the bitcoin for the local currency to start their new life.
Although these examples are quite extreme, there are endless possibilities a worldwide currency that no one can control or stop can provide to people.
People working in different countries wishing to send money home to their family can do so instantly for minimal transaction fee’s. When you compare this to money transfer services which can take up-to 20% in fee’s and take days to clear the benefits of cryptocurrency are obvious.
Money is power. By giving people another option to their government backed fiat currency you give power back to people in unstable and dangerous parts of the world. It takes power away from corrupt governments who steal from their people. It allows people to opt out of failing economies. It gives people a choice. It allows everyone in the world to be part of the world economy. It can provide opportunity for the hundreds of thousands of people around the world who don’t have access to bank accounts to transact with anyone else on a global scale. As technology moves forward far more people in the world have access to a mobile phone than have access to a trustworthy back account. Cryptocurrency could allow these people the freedom to take control of their finances.
Mainstream media likes to focus on how bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies can be used to fund criminal and illicit activities, sadly this is true. However, so is cash! We’ve used that for hundreds of years! We believe the benefits cryptocurrency can bring to the world by far out weigh the negatives.
For more thought provoking information on the importance of cryptocurrency we would highly recommend reading the book “The Internet of money (Volume 1, 2, and 3)” by Andreas M. Antonopoulos. The Lectures which are quoted in these books and more interesting content from Andreas can also easily be found on YouTube.