Will Crypto Replace fiat Money – and Should it?
When we talk about crypto and its uses in the present day, there is a question that is sometimes unspoken, and sometimes voiced out loud. In short, it is: “Will crypto replace fiat money?”. Sometimes the word fiat is replaced with “real” or “actual”, which tends to indicate the agenda of the person asking the question. For many crypto investors, this isn’t a question they ever asked. It isn’t explicitly the intention of the inventors of Bitcoin, the primary cryptocurrency. But as the question is being asked, we might as well take a look at it.
It’s clear that crypto doesn’t need to replace fiat currency to be worthwhile. If you’re investing in crypto, you don’t have to be of the opinion that it should replace the dollar, pound, or Euro. You may just want a means of payment for online casinos which doesn’t show up on bank statements. Below, we’ll look at whether crypto is ever likely to replace fiat money, and whether that is something that people should actually want, anyway. And if anyone asks you, at any point in the future, whether crypto will replace actual money, then you will have a potted response ready to go.
What is the point of crypto if not to replace fiat money?
It should be noted that the intent that was floated at the time crypto came into being was to create an “alternative payment solution”. Not a replacement for cash – that would have been a huge statement to make and would in all likelihood have seen Bitcoin crushed from all angles by national and supranational institutions.
It helps to think of Bitcoin or any cryptocurrency as the currency of a nation of people, but that nation exists online rather than on a landmass. The creation of the rupee didn’t mean the pound stopped existing. Crypto was intended to offer a means of payment that could be used by people who have problems with fiat currency, including a lack of access to it.
Could crypto replace fiat money?
No, and there is no real timeline in which it ever could have. The existing banking system is so deeply entrenched in the everyday lives of billions of people that replacing it would be all but impossible. It would create so much havoc in so many ways that the repercussions would not be worth it. As things stand, there is no pathway for crypto to replace fiat currency, no effort afoot to make it happen, and any effort would not be welcomed by not only the banks and governments, but by people in general. In a world where simply changing your address at the bank can be frustrating, imagine doing that times a hundred for everyone who exists.
Can they replace fiat money for you, if that’s what you want?
One day, almost certainly. Individuals are already living without using fiat currency, although it’s a life that involves a certain amount of workarounds. And that’s really what Satoshi Nakamoto was (or were) aiming for when Bitcoin was launched. Bankless individuals, stateless refugees and people in war-torn countries can access financial services more easily because cryptocurrency allows seamless asset transfer – and that’s a better goal than replacing an entrenched banking system.