What if there was a way to keep politics, human error, and private influence out of money? This is what a fully decentralized, cashless system looks like.
Show of hands: who’s sick of hearing about politics? Tired of the right/left divide, and utterly terrified of dipping into the comments section of your favorite social media platform? We thought so. Unfortunately, many genuine issues have fallen prey to the polarization that stops forward progress. The fence built on the road of evolution into a better future. Cashless systems are seemingly the newest hot debate topic that is easily categorized into right vs. left.
What if there was a system that didn’t involve politics at all? That didn’t base its valuation on the whims of any government? A truly borderless, trustless system that allowed money to be what it actually is: a currency. It’s also a system that is easy to learn and integrate into a routine. There are a number of exchange platforms- like Bitvavo, that are specifically designed to be simple and inexpensive for novice users to pick up.
The Cashless Conundrum
What most critics of cashless systems miss is the concept of decentralization. Instead, seeing cashless systems as a scam, peddled by con men and backed by governmental overreach. A system in which everything is controlled by banks, and there is no longer even a whiff of the possibility of creating an anonymous transaction, or a system of transactions that won’t be nickel and dimed through unnecessary regulation and too many middlemen.
Which are indeed valid concerns. As any centralized monetary system- even those that are in existence and popular use today- leave many a taxpayer holding onto the lion’s share of financial responsibility when it comes to the maintenance and livelihood of these systems and institutions. So, in essence, it’s no wonder that these reservations have found firmer footholds in the hearts of many. If you’ve ever travelled abroad with your debit card, may be acutely aware of just how expensive it can be to have a bank in firm and total control of your finances. Costly ATM charges do little to alleviate the fees associated with currency conversions, lose that card while on holiday and it could prove to be disastrous- and even more expensive than the original plan.
This is only one example of the related reasons why most people balk at the thought of moving to a cashless society- a discussion that has been breached again and again in the wake of COVID-19. As the exchange of tangible money has been ousted as a known transmitter of viral particles, many businesses have shifted to contactless or card only payments. The cashless system has been further propelled and coerced into existence due to severe coin shortages felt worldwide. However, in a trustless and decentralized paradigm, these concerns don’t exist.
Bitcoin Tokenization of Tradable Assets
Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies seem almost tailor made for the current crisis. As such, it’s believed by many that Satoshi Nakamoto, bitcoin’s inventor, created the crypto as a valid response to the subprime mortgage crisis. Largely because crypto’s are borderless, trustless, secure, transparent, and decentralized monetary systems. Meaning that there are few fees associated with transacting any given crypto, a public ledger, few KYC protocols, near instant transactions, are fully borderless payment systems. Furthermore, as cryptocurrencies are decentralized, there are few authoritative power structures within them that require feeding. Also- you can turn just about anything into a crypto token. From cattle to accounting services. Literally any good or service can be tokenized.
While fiat is quite obviously the most recognizable and globally agreed upon form of payment and exchange- it’s not the only system that does or has existed and didn’t really take hold until the 20th century. It has been a long time since most fiat systems have functioned under a “gold standard” rule. Meaning that the dollar or pound you hold in your hand may have once been worth its denomination in gold- it now stands for much, much, less. This is largely down to quantitative easing efforts and artificial inflation schemes. Where governments will print money to ensure they have enough of it- watering down the real value of a fiat until its value is not much more than that of bitcoin. Merely the value of an idea, one that a great many people agree upon.
Moving Forward With Crypto
This willy-nilly money printing business has led to devastating financial crises, recessions, and hyperinflation. Proving that, once again, just because fiat is the system that’s in use, doesn’t mean it’s the best system. Which means it may be time to look toward cryptocurrencies as a steward of unbiased, incorruptible, trade.
Cryptocurrencies, bitcoin being a gleaming example, are designed based around a principle of artificial scarcity- which means they derive their value purely out of interest and interaction with the crypto itself. No one can ever make more, they are worth what they are worth, a value that can’t be manipulated. Also, anyone can trade them. They require no excessive maintenance, and they are a fine example of what democratized currency actually looks like.
So while it may be a terrible idea to implement yet another centralized and malleable currency system- cashless or not- we must all remember that in the face of change, this is not a discussion of an ultimatum. There is absolutely another choice on the table, quietly staring us all directly in the eye. It could be time we sat up and paid attention.