How Long Until We Forget About Cash?

Author: George Basiladze

In the ever-changing world of finance, many of us grow less and less dependent on physical, paper money. The rapid development of financial technology has allowed us to effectively skip out the physical exchange of monies, as we grow increasingly reliant on e-commerce systems, credit/debit cards and contactless technologies. In many areas of the world, people can go through a regular week without ever needing paper money. In the UK, almost all shops will accept credit/debit cards with a large number even utilizing contactless terminals suitable for Apple Pay and the growing number of cards with embedded contactless transaction capabilities.

Bitcoin and the plethora of altcoins on the web provide evidence of the growing desire for alternative transaction means. And with the increasing number of start-ups providing Bitcoin services that streamline use of the cryptocurrency, greater Bitcoin adoption is likely just around the corner. Most banks have some form of digital banking application available to their customers, allowing payments to be set up from any computer or smartphone. As Bitcoin begins to integrate with existing financial models in new and innovative ways, it will become possible to use cryptocurrency in a way that doesn’t feel any different than using a digital banking application.

Bitcoin's blockchain ledger is receiving a great deal of interest from banking institutions around the world due to the efficiency with which transactions can be managed using the innovative technology. If new technologies continue to be integrated into the way we use money, paper cash could become even less important over the next decade.

Not everyone will give up cash so quickly. In Russia, for example, many people still use the Ruble in paper form. Credit cards are accepted in some areas, but for various reasons, much of the Russian public prefers to use paper money over cards. There are numerous other areas that continue to use physical cash for many transactions, including parts of Africa. However, the proliferation of smartphone technology will potentially lead to an increasing reliance on mobile banking on the African continent, which would further limit the need for cash transactions.

It is impossible to tell when paper monies will become entirely redundant, if they ever will. It is important to remember that modern alternatives depend largely on reliable internet access, and as a greater number of the world population gains access to the internet over the coming decade, it will be exciting to watch developments. New innovations like Bitcoin and modern financial technology have the potential to empower ordinary people all around the world, with new forms of banking for those previously unable to access such services.

E-commerce is now a huge part of the world of business which cannot be ignored by most retail operations, and it will likely continue to dominate. Bitcoin and blockchain-powered payment networks have the potential to further reduce transaction costs, which would make the payments market even more competitive and result in savings to consumers. New innovations are always being investigated and it will be interesting to see what happens over the next five years in the world of FinTech!

George Basiladze is a finance guy with an in-depth knowledge of financial systems. He and Dmitry designed the concept of Cryptopay in May 2013 and started developing the system.

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