Today, more and more corporations and governments are inclined to the idea of switching to cryptocurrency. Therefore, it began to appear more and more predictions about what will happen to the currency of the future. In a previous article, we’ve examined three potential scenarios of crypto space’s development. Let’s finish what we’ve started and analyze the rest ones.
crypto-advanced Southern hemisphere
Scenario: North America and Europe still use dollars and euros, while Wall Street still operates its own systems, although crypto assets are traded theretoo. Facebook is still the main social network of the golden billion. Cryptocurrencies exist somewhere in the background, this is a toy, at best, an additional investment tool.
But the situation is completely different in the southern hemisphere: Venezuela and Zimbabwe were the first to replace their money with cryptocurrencies — to protect against hyperinflation. (This is about real cryptocurrency, and not about this recent lame Venezuelan ‘cryptocurrency’ like the petro.) This turned out to be a natural step after introducing mobile payment systems such as M-Pesa or Orange Money. At first it was not easy, for example, a successful attack on the BGP protocol disabled most Ethiopian miners and allowed a 51% attack to take place, making several hackers very rich due to the Addis Ababa treasury, but after several hardforks and the release of version 2.0 the situation got stabilized.
Next, local stock and bond markets turned to the blockchain. The same thing happened with the local Internet, where sending data was much more expensive than in the United States. This, along with a relatively large potential reward for using distributed applications, has led to their heyday. They mainly use national cryptocurrencies (which can be exchanged in real time at a large decentralized exchange with Atomic inter-currency payment channels), which have almost replaced local centralized western financial services. Now when Zimbabweans visit London or New York, they are surprised at the backwardness of the financial sector.
The probability of such a scenario: not too likely, but quite possible. It is easier for residents of New York, London, Toronto or Paris to use international credit cards: there are no commissions on them, but there are bonus miles and points, promotions and cashback, extended insurance and other bonuses. Now imagine that you are offered to exchange it for ‘international cryptocurrency’ and ‘Lightning channels’. And there is a completely different situation among the inhabitants of Africa. When you are considered suspicious and are not given credit just because you live in a densely populated African country, when you have double-digit and sometimes three-digit inflation … then the equation looks a little different.
Crypto as Counterculture
Scenario: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Tezos and EOS have not takne over the world – people still use dollars, euros, reals and yuan. In the financial world, individual private closed blockchains have found application, but this is not the promised world revolution, but individual sections where this technology has proven to be more effective.
However, this applies to 98% of the world’s population. For the remaining 2%, everything is different. These are government-disbelieving libertarians, technology enthusiasts, and idealists who believe that cryptocurrencies can make a difference. They are ready to deal with private keys, finance payment channels, purchase tokens, install and pay for distributed applications and store their data in a distributed manner, but they are only 2%, that is 140 million people all over the world.
So, uncensored, independent, decentralized social networks use only 140 million people, but this is a lot, and this means that in centralized systems censorship is not very effective, since there is always a decentralized alternative. Only 140 million people use cryptocurrency in everyday life and for savings, but this is enough to limit national currencies, since central banks understand that there is a viable alternative, and if it becomes inconvenient to use centralized money, people can switch to it. Only 140 million people use open access systems, and this is enough. if, for some reason, you are blocked in a centralized system, you have an alternative and you are not completely isolated from society.
In general, only 2% use cryptocurrencies, but they make a huge service to the remaining 98%, keeping governments from censorship, and banks — from excessive greed. The existence of a viable decentralized alternative is a factor mitigating the shortcomings of centralized systems in many ways.
The probability of such a scenario: it is very likely to be so.