Though economists largely agree that virtual currency replacing cash is a long-term inevitability, some are questioning the current health of crypto culture.
This article is based on corporate postings and accredited media reports. All linked information within this article is fully-attributed to the following outlets: The New York Times, The New York Post, The Economic Times, Data-Driven Investor, Bitcoin Magazine, Ad Week, The Street, and Investopedia.
Last week, NewsBreak published “Economists Predict Cash Will Become Obsolete,” my article about the predicted global takeover of today‘s cash money by virtual currency. The trend is already inching towards permanence, economists largely agree, as implied by the current trend line of paying for goods with cellphones and digital wallets.
As excerpted from the article, referencing a July, 2021 New York Times profile on Dr. Eswar Prasad, professor of trade policy at Cornell University and the author of the book, “The Future of Money: How the Digital Revolution is Transforming Currencies and Finance”: To keep their money relevant, many central banks are experimenting with digital versions of their currencies. These currencies are virtual, like Bitcoin; but unlike Bitcoin, which is a private enterprise, they are issued by the state and function much like traditional currencies. The idea is for central banks to introduce these digital currencies in limited circulation — to exist alongside cash as just another monetary option — and then to broaden their circulation over time, as they gain in popularity and cash fades away.
What has been rarely addressed in the mainstream is the cultural nature of crypto, including what has, at times, appeared to be a frivolous enterprise to those neither engaged with nor up to speed on the monetary shift.
For a current primer on the concept of digital currency, The New York Times published “The Latecomer’s Guide to Crypto” by Kevin Rose in March, 2022, which states: Crypto’s madcap, meme-crazed online culture can make it seem frivolous and shallow. It’s not. Cryptocurrencies, even the jokey ones, are part of a robust, well-funded ideological movement that has serious implications for our political and economic future. Bitcoin, which emerged out of the ashes of the 2008 financial crisis, first caught on among libertarians and anti-establishment activists who saw it as the cornerstone of a new, incorruptible monetary system.
Since its inception, however, the concept of cryptocurrency has seen its share of controversy. Some laypersons, not economists — though several have of late addressed the issue — have gone so far as to question whether such currency transformation is indeed the wave of the future, or a passing fad.
Let us explore further.
The State of Crypto, 2022
In an article from this morning’s New York Post, entitled “Luxury Health Club Equinox to Start Accepting Cryptocurrency Payments in NYC,” writer Ben Kesslen states: The luxury health club will become the first gym in the Big Apple to allow members to pay their membership fee in digital currency, a source told The Post on Sunday.
As things appear to be looking up in crypto culture, several news items are proclaiming the death of the endeavor. See here for Economic Times piece, “The Crypto Market is Dead. Here’s What Experts Have to Say,” and here for Data-Driven Investor’s “Crypto is Dead But Money is Alive. Only One Will Make You Rich.”
The former article, from January, 2022, reported the following: The recent sell-off in the cryptocurrency market was a huge blow to the investors as it wiped out $1 trillion in market cap from the industry.
The carnage was so intense that major cryptocurrencies, including behemoths like Bitcoin and Ethereum, lost up to half of their value from the peak, while other altcoins felt more pain. The tapering cues from the Federal Reserve, rising bond yields, crackdown signals and regulatory strictness weighed on the sentiments of the crypto space.
Add to those two pieces an entry from Bitcoin Magazine, entitled “2022 Will Bring the End of Bitcoin,” which supplements the pessimistic messaging. A May, 2021 article from Ad Week, “Is Crypto Dead? Last Week Was Tough,” is a year old and yet punctuates the fact that the crypto marketplace remains volatile.
Still, despite the occasional pessimism, cryptocurrency is not going away.
What has made matters worse in the public eye are the industry’s myriad scams. See here for The Street’s “‘Dead’ Crypto Surging as Scams Spread, New Report States.”
From the article, which says of the scammers: It has been tempting to take advantage of the volatile crypto market and the complex nature of blockchain technology.
Cryptocurrency as an industry, though, is not going away. See Investopedia page here for regularly-updated news on all things crypto.
As with most burgeoning economic transformations, volatility is common. Crypto is no different. As the likelihood of an all-digital transformation looms closer, greater scrutiny will be placed on the entirety of our current systems.
Thank you for reading.