Which scenarios will be more likely as the blockchain-based technology spreads and the markets mature?
Cryptocurrencies started off as a niche monetary product, being owned mainly by online traders, blockchain specialists and hackers. In the eyes of the public opinion, they were surrounded by an aura of illegality, especially after the Silk Road saga – with the subsequent arrest and trial of its (alleged) founder and manager Ross Ulbricht, now sentenced to life imprisonment.
The online black market was shut down in 2013, but bitcoin, which was and still is the most popular among online currencies, is more alive than ever and has succeeded in overcoming the skepticism of several investors and regulators.
Bitcoin: a monetary policy assessment
Are cryptocurrencies a bubble?
Developing digital & mobile payments: a window of opportunity for cryptocurrencies
Finding a balance between the core, original nature of cryptocurrencies and their inclusion into traditional economic systems is not going to be an easy task for tomorrow’s policy makers. Moreover, bitcoin and Ether will need to find a way to get rid of the speculative pressures and the extreme price volatility.
All the conditions for a radical change in the nature of money are on the table. The revolution of payments and finance doesn’t seem far ahead. And this time, it might not start in the Western countries.
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