Bitcoin and the Age of Cryptocurrency
I used to carry Monopoly money around as part of an imaginary financial system that could actually buy me a pack of Sour Patch Kids candy from a second-grade classmate during lunch at my elementary school. You can imagine the harsh crash my market suffered when my parents gently informed me that Monopoly money didn’t actually have any value in the real world.
Nowadays, the rise of cryptocurrency — and Bitcoin in particular — faces questions about its legitimacy and value. More likely than not, you’ve almost definitely heard of Bitcoin by now but may or may not know exactly what it is or could mean for the global economy.
Bitcoin, when paired with government regulation and widespread integration, has the potential to begin a financial revolution, but concerns remain that Bitcoin could further destabilize the economy and worsen a debt crisis. Still, widespread cryptocurrency adoption appears to make sense in a number of specific scenarios that are playing out all over the world today.
In countries like Greece that have unstable economies with central control of currency, Bitcoin may be a viable alternative to the euro. Zimbabwe and other countries suffering from hyperinflation, unstable economies, and corrupt governments can benefit from Bitcoin as well because it allows them to circumvent national currencies and instead expand into the global economy. Individuals and governments in swing-market countries like Turkey may adopt cryptocurrency along with the centralized currency to help stabilize the market, especially as a security measure in case of defaulting or economic crisis.
While the future is still hazy for cryptocurrency and its implications, it will nonetheless continue to be a part of and expand into the global economy. The first key is financial education for wholly understanding what cryptocurrency and Bitcoin are and how they might ultimately play into the world of finance. Big banks are already on board. So, don’t get left behind the financial revolution that is cryptocurrency.
To learn more about Bitcoin, 1776 sat down with Fred Ehrsam, cofounder of Coinbase, a platform that facilitates Bitcoin transactions.