Updated: Sep 1, 2018
Yep, I said it! The "R" word......Revolution. Okay, I know it is a very strong word that probably gets overused but I truly believe that is what we are seeing play out right now.
So what is the revolution I am referring to? It's the cryptocurrency revolution,
and why do I believe cryptocurrencies are so revolutionary? Because they have the power to open up access to the global financial system and global economy to many millions if not billions of people today who find themselves unbanked and excluded from participation. Recent estimates put the number at around 2.2 billion people who have access to the internet or mobile phones but not to the banking system. These are perfect examples of individuals who would really benefit from cryptocurrencies, for many of these people it could really be life-changing.
In my opinion, this is way overdue, for far too long real inclusion into the global financial system has been primarily a privilege for those of us lucky enough to be born in a developed country. And even being born in a developed country does not automatically guarantee that you will be included, there are many people even in developed countries that find themselves excluded, due in part many times to circumstances they cannot control. For too long real control of the world’s financial systems have been in the hands of the financial elite. This system which they have built is in my opinion somewhat of an exclusive club, unless you have achieved a certain stature in society you are excluded. Even for most who are lucky enough to be included, they have no real control that is reserved for the financial elite who use their position and power to keep the deck stacked in their favor.
I know cryptocurrencies already have the power to changes lives because I have seen it firsthand. I personally know many people who were lucky enough to invest in cryptocurrencies early on and now have achieved financial freedom. Although there is the possibility to make money investing in cryptocurrencies that is not the most important contribution cryptocurrencies make. The most important aspect is that this is a completely decentralized permissionless system open to all who choose to participate, and for billions of people it could be their only connection to the global economy. Another important factor is that for all those who do decide to participate, they will be in total control of their own money.
Contrast that with what we have now, a banking system that places minimum requirements that you must meet in order to participate and places restrictions on access to your own money plus many times charges you a fee just to access it. Also, there is the real possibility that if your financial institution decides for one reason or another that your account has been misused they can freeze your assets without notifying you first. That could never happen with cryptocurrencies, you and you alone are in charge of your assets. You can spend them as you see fit, you can move them around as much as you want without fear of being charged. I actually just ran into this exact problem with my bank. I routinely move money around between my savings account and my checking account and last month turned out to be an unusually busy month where I made more transfers than normal which caused my bank to notify me that if I made any additional transfers there would be a $10 charge for each one. This is not the only restriction financial institutions can place on your accounts, they may also have minimum balance requirements, ATM withdrawal limits and others.
I believe we will find that there are many other benefits to cryptocurrencies that we cannot even comprehend at this time. My belief is that we will see a whole new economy created just around cryptocurrencies. We are already witnessing hundreds if not thousands of new businesses and business opportunities being created thanks to cryptocurrencies. I am sure that the use of cryptocurrencies will also be a benefit to the global economy. I realize that cryptocurrencies still have a long way to go before they are really ready for mass adoption but I believe in time they will get there.
I feel this is a very important opportunity for our society, one that we cannot afford to screw up. A chance once and for all to level the financial playing field and include all who wish to participate in our global economy. My hope is this opportunity will not be overlooked or dismissed by society or derailed by those in power just looking to protect their power and control under the guise of protecting the public. Unfortunately, we are already seeing signs of this.
Until my next blog post.