E Not If, But When: This Is Why Cryptocurrency Will Replace Traditional Payment Methods

With Facebook's (FB) Libra (LIBRA) Project shining a spotlight on cryptocurrency -- and drawing the ire of American lawmakers and regulators -- the debate has been rekindled as to whether Bitcoin and other cryptos will have staying power beyond 2019. There's even speculation that cryptocurrency could pose a serious challenge to traditional payment and money-transfer services.

Some of the larger companies entrenched in the traditional payment system seem to agree with this sentiment, as Visa (V), Mastercard (MA), and PayPal (PYPL) have joined Coinbase, Uber (UBER), eBay (EBAY) and Spotify (SPOT) in each contributing $10 million or more into the Libra Project. Evidently, they're subscribing to the "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em" strategy -- as is JP Morgan Chase (JPM), an erstwhile harsh crypto critic that's currently in the process of launching their own stablecoin, JPM Coin.

Heck, we're even hearing of die-hard gold bug Peter Schiff -- who has lambasted Bitcoin (BITCOMP) investors in the past -- admitting that he owns Bitcoin; meanwhile, inveterate gold investor Mark Mobius turned more than a few heads when he recently conceded that if Bitcoin continues to grow, he’ll probably buy some himself.

But that's no reason to believe that Bitcoin, Libra, or some other digital currency could replace old-school payment avenues someday... though it certainly could lead us to believe that (to misquote Bob Dylan) "the times, they are a-changin'." Rather, I'm leaning massively bullish on cryptocurrency as the preferred payment of tomorrow because it's cheaper and more efficient than traditional payment methods.

Consider, if you will, what it would take to move $468.5 million in a single transaction via traditional payment mechanisms. On the blockchain, it's no big deal: 49,755.64 BTC was moved quickly and easily, and the Bitcoin network charged just $374.98 (a very small portion of $468.5 million worth of BTC) to facilitate the transfer.

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Disclosure: David Moadel is not a licensed or registered investment advisor, and has no position in any securities listed herein.

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Michele Grant 1 year ago Member's comment

I've always thought of cryptocurrency as something only criminals would really need or benefit from. But you make an excellent point regarding transaction fees.

David Moadel 1 year ago Author's comment

Thank you for the comment Michele