The Future Of Money

I had the pleasure of speaking at StartCon on Friday about the future of money. This topic is something I am extremely interested in and I wanted to share what I discussed on stage in case you missed it.

The way we view money is changing right now. We are slowly starting to realise that currency and money are not the same thing. 

The major difference between currency and money is that money holds value, while currency is a means of exchange. 

To be able to deal with devaluation, new currencies need to be developed and constant modification needs to occur. Particularly now, money is evolving. 

The way we view currency has evolved over time. In particular, there have been five major waves of currency evolution. These are:

  1. The barter system: used by cavemen
  2. Physical tokens: used from 1200BC onwards
  3. Paper money: used from 618AD onwards
  4. Electric money: used from 1861AD onwards
  5. Cryptocurrencies: began in 2009 with bitcoin.

The wave of cryptocurrency is the newest trend and it’s one that will continue growing over time. 

I have eight predictions about the future of money. Here are a few of the ones I spoke about today:

1. No physical cash

Only 30% of Brits reportedly buy products with notes and coins, whilst in Sweden only 2% of payments are made by physical cash. South Korea wants to wipe out physical cash in 2020 and cash in Australia has been declining for the past decade. Cash payments in Australia dropped from 70% in 2007 to 37% in 2016. I predict this trend will continue into the future where technology will make it easier to make transactions without physical cash.

Potential issues for a cashless society, writes US-based journalist Ian Fraser, older people and those without access to internet will be marginalised, and there’s a correlation found in countries with low physical currency usage have higher rates of personal debt.

2. Banking will be replaced with apps 

There is a rise of neo banks hitting Australia, which operate without a face-to-face customer service and have the ability to hold our money. Up and 86 400 for instance both have transaction accounts and linked savings accounts, Xinja recently launched a transaction account, while Volt will launch a savings product.

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