Today’s technology has touched every aspect of daily life — with the financial sector far from exempt. Over the past couple of decades, cryptocurrencies, or digital or virtual currencies made possible by blockchain technology, are transforming how we think of money. Blockchain technology makes this currency nearly impossible to counterfeit or double-spend, and they are also decentralized, meaning they are neither issued nor backed by a central authority. Thus, cryptocurrencies run across a network of computers, and can be mined and traded for profit.
Cryptocurrency has since surged in popularity globally, and the number of users has surpassed 100 million. Although they have not yet reached its full mainstream potential, cryptocurrencies have already impacted several industries for the better.
Today, more than 1.6 billion adults are left unbanked — no bank accounts, no access to financial services, no protection for their money from theft or loss. All these widen the gap caused by financial exclusion, especially in the midst of a pandemic that encourages cashless transactions. Fortunately, cryptocurrency is working towards a more open and inclusive global financial system. Apart from a safer and more trustworthy way of safeguarding people’s assets, cryptocurrencies can also be used to grow wealth and allow people to earn interest off their assets.
Because it is a relatively new deviation from the traditional financial institutions, everyday consumers might have difficulty trusting cryptocurrency. However, as more and more people gain access to this system, users can enjoy systemic transparency, lower fees, and faster service — expanding cryptocurrency use beyond investments, and making it a welcome fit for the digital age.
Due to a lack of in-person events this year, the global esports market has shrunk slightly — turning towards cryptocurrency payments in response to provide maximum flexibility for users. In gaming, players can make in-app purchases with brand-based cryptocurrencies and get rewards by accomplishing tasks through in-app advertising.
Meanwhile, the popularity of cryptocurrency is also seen as helpful to legalizing online poker. Only a handful of states currently have legalized online poker, but crypto could help change that. Analyst Jon Sofen explains that it is becoming an increasingly common and more trustworthy way to fund an online poker account without the involvement of banks. Moreover, if cryptocurrency becomes the main form of funding, there is a reasonable chance that politicians who have long opposed legal internet gambling may be willing to rethink their positions.
The way the music industry is currently set up has made the process of earning money tedious, especially for artists. Because of the pandemic, the field has been temporarily crippled, with discontinued tours, postponed album releases, and lower merchandise sales. That is why people have been looking to cryptocurrency to improve the status quo of the music industry.
For instance, this technology, if applied, would allow payments from digital streaming platforms to be sent easily, quickly, and more accurately as compared to today’s bill-pay systems and arduous paperwork. Also, contracts and other sensitive information could be stored on a blockchain, allowing for transparency. A portal containing all their revenue streams could be developed to help artists understand where and how their money comes in.
This industry, focusing on brand promotion through digital communication, has long practiced getting data from consumers to make sure they are targeting the right audience. With cryptocurrency, it will become more difficult for digital marketers to access personal data, as its protocols gear towards privacy and anonymity.
By forcing companies to pay consumers for their data, cryptocurrency is making leaps towards customer empowerment in this age of digital marketing. Thus, the middlemen usually in charge of collecting consumer data and consuming advertising revenue, such as banks, insurance companies, and data companies like Facebook and Google, will be removed from the equation.
The world is rapidly changing, and with it, brand-new solutions are popping in place of time-tested ones, so industries must keep up if they want to stay relevant. The speed at which cryptocurrencies are taking over is a clear indicator that more financial and social needs are developing and must be addressed. It will only be a matter of time until this innovation finds its way into day-to-day transactions, with the aim of making lives better.