Consumer spending heavily relies upon digital currency and perhaps someday paper money will be obsolete. It may sound fantastic but consider the frequency of which you yourself use a credit card to buy things, go online to shop, or receive gift cards preloaded with a specific dollar amount. Most likely you pay your bills via internet banking, pay-at-the-pump with a credit card, and even purchase movie tickets online. Once you consider how often you actually use digital currency on a day-to-day basis, we aren’t really that far off from going completely digital with our currency.
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 around the world can use to buy products and services. The open-source program behind Bitcoin is considered impossible to hack, so that relieves many security concerns.
Bitcoin is not truly a worldwide digital currency and is not legal tender, so most retailers won’t take it. It’s possible that if someone were to produce a competing digital currency, Bitcoin could become worthless.
The digital currency model
There are many advantages to ditching paper money. You can’t lose it, you don’t have to worry about having exact change, and there is no need to replace damaged currency, which saves time, energy, and funds.
Digital currency can be more secure than paper money, too. When you’re robbed as you are walking down the street, you have little chance of recouping the money. However, if someone steals your credit card, you can quickly cancel the card, protecting yourself financially. The same scenario could easily exist with your digital dollars.
It’s unlikely the change to an all-digital currency world will be met without a few strong objectors. There are still consumer luddites today that have never opened a line of credit with a credit card company, never used the banking system, and prefer to handle all purchases with cash. The future is always in flux and it will be interesting to see how both sides of the debate form their stance on the issue.