- Plastic money (credit cards and debit cards) is essentially finishing the need to carry cash with you.
- Bitcoin being limited in supply (up to 21 million) makes it a natural hedge against inflation and might replace gold in the future.
- Buy now, pay later or simple BNPL is becoming the new norm for buying on credit.
There is no doubt that the world is heading towards a cashless future and that too at an increasing pace. Plastic money (credit cards and debit cards) is essentially finishing the need to carry cash with you. Another mainstream payment that is even surpassing the use of plastic money is the UPI or Unified Payment Interface with which one can transfer and receive money via their smartphones.
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All these payment revolutions fall short when cryptocurrencies come into the picture. These new-age coins work on a decentralised mechanism, eliminating the need for a regulatory authority to oversee payments and other transactions. So, will cash become useless? Or will Bitcoin take over the fiat currency? Let us have a look at 10 major trends that may materialise in the future.
- Cash goes out of fashion
Cash is one of the forms of money that is majorly used for supporting illegal activities, such as extortions, buying prohibited drugs and arms, etc., due to its drawback of non-traceability. With plastic money, internet banking, UPI payments, etc., the economies could eventually phase out the usage of cash in the future.
- Increased flow of capital
With money going digital, drawbacks of cash such as difficulty to make cross-border transactions, more prone to theft, getting destroyed, etc., will be going to disappear. With other digital mediums such as internet banking, exponentially higher transfers can be made without worrying about drawbacks of physical cash.
- Bitcoin might replace Gold as inflation hedge
One of the main uses of gold is to be a store of value. Most people and investors buy gold primarily to hedge against inflation. Bitcoin being limited in supply (up to 21 million) makes it a natural hedge against inflation as more Bitcoins can never be made to dilute its value.
- CBDC to come into the picture
Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) is like a fiat currency of a country but in a digital form. The idea of CBDC was primarily to tackle the growing popularity of cryptocurrencies and CBDC can be regulated unlike cryptos, therefore governments might prefer them in the first place.
- BNPL to win over credit card system
Buy now, pay later or simple BNPL is becoming a new norm for buying on credit. BNPL companies are taking the traditional credit card system head on and making strides in the industry. The trend is gaining popularity in Asian countries as well as the new playing field for microfinancing.
- Stablecoin to replace dollarization
Dollarization simply means dumping a country’s own currency and using the US dollar instead, generally to counter uncontrollable inflation. Governments would prefer to dollarize using stablecoins which are essentially cryptocurrencies pegged against any other asset such as the US dollar, gold, etc.
- Cryptos to coexist with fiat currency
The crypto market capitalisation has soared to US$2 trillion and there’s no stopping. Governments might not give the nod to use cryptos as legal tender (although, El Salvador has done that) but cannot suppress the crypto ecosystem. Therefore, at a bare minimum, both currencies (cryptos and fiat) will continue to co-exist.
- The world will become more standardised
Stablecoins pegged against real assets can make the world more standardised. Organisations, individuals and other groups might hesitate to accept Bitcoin as a mode of payment but would likely to take stablecoins.
- Cryptos will reduce wealth inequality
One of the major reasons for Wealth inequality is that some people do not get enough opportunities as some of the privileged ones get. However, cryptocurrencies and smart contracts would help everyone to get almost equal opportunities to start and grow their businesses and reach a global scale, secure funding, find lucrative investment avenues, etc.
- Cryptos to overcome cross-currency transactions
Even in our modern world, cross-currency transactions are a bit of a task and also require decent fees to be paid for conversion into the desired currency. However, cryptos being standardised do not require any conversion and can be readily paid as they save hassle, cost and time. Local governments might find it difficult to stop global transactions.