Change has always been the most pervasive phenomenon of human existence. Humans continue to exploit a hidden novelty in an already established convention. We constantly find new ways of doing things. No matter how perfect an innovation might appear, overtime its shortcomings become more vivid. These shortcomings are therefore exploited, hence, the birth of another innovation.
The concept of money has continually evolved over the years. The evolution of money like most aspects of human existence has evolved alongside technology. A detailed rundown of the evolution of money reveals how the concept of what we call money today could literally be anything as long as there is a general acceptance of it.
From barter to banknotes. The changes started gradually but gained wide adoption suddenly. Accepting a new means of exchange is a must to survive. Aside from the fact that it could be a more convenient way of exchange, accepting a new form of payment guarantees continued existence.
The sudden turn to bitcoin. As sudden as the turn to Signal over WhatsApp.
Cryptocurrencies are about to transform finance globally. How we see and spend money is about to change. This change, however, is going to occur gradually and without warning – suddenly. Just like the ongoing battle of mobile messengers.
WhatsApp for many years has dominated mobile messaging. With over 2.2 billion users globally it is one of the most used apps in the world. A lot of people rely on it for communication daily. There was no challenger for WhatsApp. It served people perfectly until recently when it decided to mandate new terms of service on its users to share more data.
WhatsApp belongs to Facebook, a voracious public data consumer but people continued to use it despite its connections to Facebook. This singular action of wanting to suck more data out of users by WhatsApp forced millions to abandon WhatsApp for Signal. The move was so sudden and massive, that Signal began experiencing technical difficulties.
Whether drastic or sudden, change is change and change is constant. WhatsApp dominance of mobile messaging changed within a few hours. The change from fiat or traditional banking to crypto will come in such a fashion. Signal existed before WhatsApp decided to force people to give up more data. There’s a possibility that a lot of people never even knew about it but it existed and it had users. With a 24 hour volume of $56 billion, bitcoin has users. A market cap of almost a trillion tells that people use crypto. But with these heavy numbers, fiat isn’t taking any significant hit.
Crypto adoption is still in the gradual stage. It is slowly gaining momentum, waiting for the ultimate fiat fallout that will cause millions to flock to bitcoin. The disadvantages of fiat are glaring. Bitcoin was created at a time when our financial tradition was enriching banks impoverishing the masses.
At some point, this traditional system will have to change. According to Keynes in The Economic Consequences of Peace, “There is no subtler, no surer means of overturning the existing basis of society than to debauch the currency.”
A crypto future looms but when and how it will take over is an interesting mystery that will colour the history books. We can predict however, that the crypto takeover just like Signal will come suddenly and shake traditional finance to its foundations.