Those of us involved in cryptocurrency are well aware of the progress being made. We also know the impact that cryptocurrency can have on the world, specifically the governments and central banks who, at present, have so much power.
That said, cryptocurrency is still a rather small industry. Estimates are there are around 100 million users globally of this alternative form of money. Even if that is off to the downside by 20%-30%, it still shows how few people are involved. Considering the world has over 7 billion people on it, with more than 4.5 billion online, we still have a long way to go before we are even close to mass adoption.
Last year, we saw an announcement that sent ripples throughout the power structures of the world. When Facebook presented the Libra project, government officials globally all felt as if they were kicked in the gut. It was one of those universal "aha" moments where they saw their clout severely compromised.
What made Libra such a threat? Simply, it is a numbers game. If that coin ever came into being, you would suddenly have more than 2 billion people potentially using it. This was a serious wake up call since it far exceeds the population of any single country.
Once again, to anyone who was involved in cryptocurrency at the time of the announcement, none of this is novel. We all saw what took place and realized how powerful a move it was.
This story was reminded to me through an article I recently came across. What is interesting is not the article but, rather, where it was. This was not from one of the major crypto sites. Instead, it came from a futurist who follows hundreds of different technologies, including blockchain and cryptocurrency.
Here is the headline. Certainly, this is something that could have appeared on Cointelegraph.
Facebook’s cryptocurrency Libra was so powerful it could have ended state control of money
We also see this exerpt:
Who is more powerful today – Trump, Xi, or Zuckerberg? Think about it … Technology and an increasingly connected society are now making individuals more powerful than the state.
It is a valid point and one that is starting to gain a great deal of momentum within the futurist/technology circles. We obviously are seeing some crossover as the discuss around censorship is heating up as the social media companies flex their muscles during this election.
Facebook's project was such a threat because it was direct competition for global currencies. Whereas decentralized cryptocurrency can exist along with the USD, JPY, or EURO, the Libra was to be backed by a basket of existing currencies. Over time, the foundation was going to amass a large stake in whatever currencies it was focusing upon, putting it in position to exert a great deal of control over governmental policy.
Imagine ten years from now if, say, 40 percent of all US dollars were held on deposit by Facebook, or the council, to back the issued Libra coins, which would have by then undoubtedly become widely used across the world. We can only hypothesise that US dollars might constitute a 30 percent weight of Libra’s so called “Asset-backing basket,” which would be made up of a variety of other currencies and other widely traded financial assets, in order to help keep Libra’s exchange rate steady – just in the way sovereign countries keep their own currencies stable.
The answer to this was, obviously, the move towards CBDC. It is no wonder that most central banks, at their governments request, are looking into bringing out a digital currency of their own. There is no way to compete with a company the size of Libra if they stick to the old model.
Of course, this is the "overnight attack". Facebook has the existing clout to instantly flip the digital currency switch. However, we see another approach that is stealth yet, hopefully, over time, will be equally as powerful.
There is no doubt the technological advantage of cryptocurrency. The benefits far outpace what is being offered with the present system. In fact, considering there are 1.7 billion people on the planet who are categorized as "unbanked", just catering to them is an enormous market.
This is where the entire cryptocurrency industry enters the picture. While we lack the same numbers as Facebook, by a wide margin, there is a great deal of expansion taking place. Presently, the central banks are fumbling around with their studies, research, analysis, and whatever other things they are doing. The Chinese were the first to bring out a CBDC and it was only beta tested recently. In reality, the banks are not close to releasing them.
Here is the ace in the hole. Each week, cryptocurrency, as a whole, keeps expanding. More people are getting involved as well as token distribution keeps increasing. This is vital. If we can sustain strong growth rates in each area, the time factor will work to our advantage.
This is a giant race, one that pits the developers around the world against the governments and banking establishment. One operates in a bureaucratic systems while the other is disorganized, grass-roots, and organic in nature. History shows how the later can be very powerful.
As we can see from the linked article, word is starting to spread. Many who look at trends see the power behind cryptocurrency (as well as blockchain). This is another avenue where the message is getting out. We are not dealing with some "pie in the sky, hope it works some day" idea. Cryptocurrency is a thriving industry already.
We just need to keep up momentum. Sometimes it feels as if we are existing in a vacuum and nobody is paying attention to what is taking place. The reality is that there are people out there watching and word is spreading.
The next year will be very interesting. While the central banks are trying to bring their product to market, the crypto industry will keep expanding.
We will see who gains the upper hand.
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