So guys, I've been thinking a lot about money recently, maybe it's a knee jerk reaction to all that's been happening.
- Maybe it's the conversations about skyrocketing gas prices.
- Maybe it's the fact that earlier today, US Federal Reserve chair, Jerome Powell, described America's inflation as much too high and expressed the Fed's willingness to raise rates more aggressively.
- Maybe it's the impact that the COVID 19 pandemic has had on the global economy.
- Or maybe, on a positive note, it's cryptocurrency's steady stride towards mainstream adoption.
Maybe, it's all of the above and other factors too. Whatever the case though, I've been thinking a lot about money recently, thinking about how it evolved, and waxed nostalgic when I remembered the time that I, as a teenager, got my first debit card.
I was 14 years old at the time and I remember being called into a family conference with my parents where my dad went on and on about the need to be careful and responsible, to protect my pin, to never share the number with anyone, to always look over my shoulder to be sure there's no one lurking behind me when I'm using my card- all the precautions that came with the responsibility of walking around with what we called "plastic money" back then.
Interestingly enough though, back then, there were those who didn't trust the banks' debit and credit cards. My grandma was one of those people. She absolutely refused to get a card.
When I was young, grandma kept cash crammed into a little clutch purse she held so jealously, you might have had to prise her fingers open if you wanted to get to her money, and she had a trusty little book in which her bank provided a ledger record of all of her deposits and withdrawals. Grandma did not trust machines. If she didn't feel cash in her hand, it wasn't real, and she wanted hand written records of her savings, not some electronically printed slip. Whenever she needed money, Grandma would go to the bank faithfully and stand in line and wait to be attended to.
Go back a generation or two, and you'd find people who didn't trust banks at all, choosing instead to store their treasure in pots and tins and treasure chests and bury them in secret hiding places where only they could recover them. Not good insurance, of course, but I'm just saying.
Fast forward to the present and my parents are the ones who are not on board with change.
We're living in a digital age. There's all the hype around NFTs and all the excitement of the metaverse, and of course, there's a different way to store, save, invest, make payments- using decentralized cryptocurrencies. Yet when I get to espousing the values of crypto assets, my mom sits with her eyes glazed over, politely shutting me out, while my dad, though a bit more open minded, is openly sceptical about their feasibility over the long term. Yep, to quote French writer, Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr, plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose (the more things change, the more they remain the same).
When it comes to money's evolution, the stark difference that one can find in generational responses is unmistakable. Older generations are generally more conservative, careful, and reserved- all qualities that we would do well to respect, by the way- while the youth are more likely to adapt.
Nonetheless, if the past is anything to go by, then we can accept that change is on our doorstep and it will come in, even if we turn our backs to the door, squeeze our eyes shut, and stick our fingers in our proverbial ears.
And on the topic of that inevitability, I came across an article published recently by Forbes, "Crypto Cannot Be Cancelled- Implications for Investors", and I think it's a pretty interesting read. According to the article, money today is being redefined, and the author, Sean Stein-Smith noted that the outlook for digital currencies- crypto and CBDCs (central bank issued digital currencies)- has improved significantly in recent years. Nonetheless, he observes, as heated debates continue over the merits of crypto-assets as opposed to CBDCs, "the future of the asset class and ecosystem is being decided right alongside the global ramifications of the recent pandemic, red-hot inflation, and a sluggish global economy."
He notes that money, in its current iteration, is equal parts technology and financial asset, and by this token, it needs to be upgraded, at least periodically, to adjust to the needs of the market. Crypto assets, he believes, is at least partially the answer and "might very well be the future of money across the globe".
And there we have it, money is evolving and, in some regards, it is outgrowing the constraints of those who purport to control it.
Today there are varying national responses to cryptocurrencies from outright bans to an open embrace and everything in between. The waters are still choppy, the going is still rough, there are storms ahead, no doubt, but change is coming and these are definitely exciting times.
Like the author, Sean Stein-Smith, I too believe that money is being redefined. I too believe that crypto is here to stay, and I am definitely interested to see how this evolution will shape our future world. But that's just me, musing over an article and reflecting about how money has changed in my lifetime and my parents'. Tell me though, guys, what are your thoughts? Do you think that crypto can be cancelled? I mean, if you're on this platform, I'm guessing that you're rooting for it to be here for many days yet, but aside from what you would like to see happen, do you believe that crypto is here to stay, or do you think that its renegade growth to date might yet be contained by governments? As always, I'd love to hear your thoughts, guys. I'm off again, scouting for stories. Until we meet again, please remember to be safe. Arrivederci!