Will digital currency one-day replace paper money? It may sound like something out of sci-fi, but it might not be as far-fetched as it sounds. Take into consideration that consumers already depend heavily today on credit cards and online services as Paypal to pay their bills. They swipe credit cards at the fuel pump when filling their cars. They order movies online via Paypal. They even purchase their burgers and fries with gift cards pre-loaded with currency. If you look at it like this, we’re really not that far away from ditching paper and coins for digital dollars.
The Bitcoin revolution?
Some consumers have been using an actual digital currency since 2009, Bitcoin. Bitcoin is a peer-to-peer digital currency that users across the globe can use to buy products and services. The open-source program behind Bitcoin is considered impossible to hack, so that alleviates many security concerns.
Bitcoin is not technically a legal tender and for that reason many, if not most, retailers outside the Bitcoin user database won’t accept it. It is quite possible another alternative digital currency may pop up and over take Bitcoin, becoming more mainstream than the innovative Bitcoin.
The digital currency model
The advantages to moving away from paper-based currency are numerous. Apart from misplacing a gift card, it is difficult to lose digital currency. You don’t have to worry (as much) about not having enough cash on you to cover an expense. Digital currency is also more eco-friendly, because the need to replace damaged or outdated paper currency is removed.
Digital currency is also more secure. If you’re mugged and carrying a fair amount of cash, it is extremely unlikely you will ever get that money back. If your credit card is stolen, however, you can quickly call your credit card company, cancel the card and recoup most if not all of any fraudulent charges to the account.
Not everyone is sold on the concept of digital currency. A lot of people still don’t use credit cards or even have a computer. They prefer to use paper money, as it feels more real to them. We will just have to see how the world changes and if the luddites out there will change their minds.