MOST NOD-AND-PRETEND-YOU-UNDERSTAND QUESTION OF THE MONTH
“central banks want to control crypto currencies, but how can they regulate when cryptos are a decentralised protocol based on mutual automated consensus between two clients?”
—Eric Alexandre, founder of the Jetcoin Institute
CConstantly living in fear of thieves cracking the code of your multicombination safe isn’t worth the sleepless nights, and the recent 1MDB scandal has taught us that no money is untraceable, be it stashed in the Cayman Islands or underground vaults in Geneva. Unless you’re a businessman from China, who prefers to strap banknotes to your body, it’s time to ditch paper notes and metal coins in favour of more advanced payment methods like the rest of the world.
Take Hong Kong, which is famous for its omnipresent smart payment system, Octopus. This super-convenient card is so indispensible that 99 percent of Hong Kongers own one, as it allows payments for public transport, parking, meals in restaurants, retail and grocery shopping, and even gives its holder access to residential and office buildings.
Sweden, on the other hand, is predicted to become a cash-free society by 2030. Four out of five Swedes make their purchases via electronic payment: fruit and vegetable street vendors, and even Situation Stockholm, a street newspaper sold by homeless people in the capital city, accept electronic payments and cards. Having said that, the future of money doesn’t mean the death of traditional currencies, but rather, their evolution into a more efficient, cost-saving form within a digital space.
Crypto currencies are complementary to the traditional banking system, according to Eric Alexandre, creator of Jetcoin Institute and a regular speaker at Inside Bitcoin conferences around the world. “Cryptos enable data transactions to be transferred at the speed of light at a fraction of the cost, which will encourage mass adoption. In fact, banks have already adopted digital tech in their online transactions, albeit a totally centralised system,” he explains. “Due to cryptos’ decentralised nature, entrepreneurs will be able to invent new solutions and share them with the world in full transparency, where every transaction is written, and hence, traceable though encrypted.”
Besides that, cryptos can be converted to any traditional currency as long as an exchange or payment processor is willing to do the transaction; thus, when imbalances in the financial system occur, cryptos will act as a counterbalance to keep the system healthy. Banks will also return to their original functions, where they keep the keys to our digital wallets safe, without the possibility of speculating what’s inside without us knowing, Alexandre adds.
However, the age of alternative currencies will take awhile to land; so as of now, embrace the eventuality of a world dominated by mobile payments. Various brands, companies and banks are hopping on the bandwagon of mobile payments, such as Mcdonald’s, Subway, Nike, Bank of America and even hotel conglomerate Marriott. Apple Pay now works in 700,000 locations in the US and has plans to launch in Europe and China soon.
Gone are the days of waiting in line for change, as it’s only a matter of time before the waves of expansion hit our shores too. Buckle up and brace yourselves to be fast-forwarded to a world where all our financial transactions are completed in swipes and taps in the blink of an eye.
You’re probably at a crossroads: to invest in foreign currencies, exchange your bank notes for virtual wealth, or get that latest Galaxy S6 equipped with NFC? We’re aware of the cautious spending nature of Malaysians, so here are some foresights to help twist your impending financial fate around. 2020 Malaysia is still plagued with five-cent coins, and it’s common to see people lugging around piggy banks. 2050 Cryptos become less volatile, and suddenly everyone is a daredevil risk-taker. 2100 The global market crashes because it’s too saturated with traditional currencies, cryptos and gold. 2169 Babies are born with genetically engineered clocks in their forearms. Watch In Time starring Justin Timberlake for a glimpse of our future.