The world economy currently relies heavily on banks and similar financial institutions, where most transactions are handled online. However, this digital economy has its challenges. It’s overly centralized and dependent on those in power, with inflation constantly looming.
Many are vying for wider adoption of cryptocurrencies to create a decentralized economy that would benefit everyone.
This almost utopian desire is partly responsible for the growing popularity of cryptocurrencies as a decentralized way of handling payments in various industries. This includes art, shopping, and especially gambling. You can find many betting sites via CryptoGambling.tv that have incorporated several cryptos into their payment systems, allowing bettors to fund their gambling journeys with decentralized digital assets entirely.
Besides these few industries, could the whole financial system become reliant on crypto and effectively create a decentralized economy? Let’s take a look.
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Decentralization and the Current Economy
As stated, our current global economy is centralized; each country handles its economic affairs through its central bank and various laws.
On the other hand, a decentralized economy would effectively distribute decision-making among a wider number of qualified individuals, perhaps even allowing the general public to participate.
Such a system would use decentralized technology and apps that enable buyers and sellers to deal with each other directly without relying on banks or other intermediary institutions. This already occurs in real estate, where interested parties buy properties directly from sellers. More than that, this notion is even better handled in virtual markets that rely on technologies like blockchain and cryptocurrencies.
The main benefits of a decentralized economy are increased security and higher transparency. As decentralized systems lack a central point of entry for hackers, security is inherently tighter, and since it relies on technologies like the blockchain that record transactions on a public ledger, transparency is assured.
Decentralized markets that rely on cryptocurrencies offer more privacy as only the transactions are visible, not the identities of the people making them. Plus, there is no central authority handling your private data.
Naturally, everything has flaws, and the lack of oversight is a major potential drawback. As this Investopedia article explains, there’s no central institution to reverse problematic transactions and provide legal assistance to people in need. Many hail this as a good thing, but it’s clear that judicial intervention is more than necessary in many instances.
What Is the Potential Impact of Decentralization on the Future of Money
Cryptocurrencies are already making a significant impact on the world. Countries are introducing laws to regulate their use, and major companies are placing their seal of approval on crypto by allowing their use or introducing blockchain technology into their internal systems and the services they offer.
Crypto and a decentralized economy could do much more if the world turned to them completely.
A decentralized economy would enable peer-to-peer transactions and reduce our reliance on centralized financial institutions like banks. This would make payments more effective, as there wouldn’t be a third party that slows the process and charges various fees.
Cryptocurrency transactions are much faster and rely on low fees, making payments cheaper, especially internationally. This benefit would undoubtedly go hand-in-hand with whatever type of decentralization we turn to.
Moreover, the economy would become much more global than it is today, with businesses having an easier time offering their services and products internationally. At the same time, consumers would be more willing to buy and order products online, no matter the seller’s location.
A decentralized currency could be more stable and less affected by inflation. Cryptos are less prone to inflation due to their limited supply and other mechanics inherent in their underlying systems.
However, some regulation would still be required for all of this to work. As we’ve already seen from the failure of major cryptocurrencies like Terra Luna and the collapse of massive businesses like FTX, a lack of regulation can be devastating. Some people constantly search for ways to take advantage of the system for personal gain.
Challenges and Risks of Cryptocurrencies and Decentralization
A decentralized economy is often hailed as a solution to all our current problems. However, as this Forbes article explains, there is a lot of naivete within this idealist way of thinking.
Cryptocurrencies and decentralized systems face numerous issues, and the main ones they must solve are evident in most major global cryptos. This primarily includes poor scalability and high volatility.
Existing cryptos can rarely handle many transactions at once, and those that claim they can still need to be tested on a bigger scale.
Volatility is likely the biggest problem as it affects all digital currencies, other than stablecoins, which are tied to specific fiat currencies. More than that, a volatile currency used in any decentralized economy would threaten the system’s stability and, thus, the economy itself.
Instability is one of the main reasons El Salvador’s adoption of Bitcoin has largely failed.
One of the primary methods of solving this issue is establishing a maximum supply, but as this wouldn’t work on a global scale, tying the currency to an asset like gold might be necessary.
Are Cryptos the Only Viable Future of Money in a Digital World?
The main problem with adopting cryptocurrencies and a decentralized system is not the technology. It can be improved and altered to suit the needs of a new economy. The most pressing issue is regulation and institutional hesitancy to adopt such a model.
Current financial systems are heavily regulated, with most governments looking to limit cash usage because of its potential to facilitate grey transactions. The EU has already eliminated €500 bills to combat this problem.
It’s clear that governments are more inclined to opt for systems that can be heavily regulated, and a decentralized economy is directly opposed to that. This view would need to be changed for a decentralized economy and cryptocurrencies to become a viable solution for our increasingly digital world.
Since that doesn’t sound likely, the technology needs to move toward a system that governments can support.
Also Read: Technology For Trading Cryptocurrencies