Tothe outsider looking in, the cryptocurrency world may appear to be a geek version of the movie Wall Street. Crypto-traders obsessing about minute fluctuations in price, newbies dreaming of Lambos, and shills hyping their worthless coins to the naïve are the order of the day. The whole thing doesn’t come across as very noble, to be sure. However, like many earlier adopters of Bitcoin, I initially embraced cryptocurrency not because I dreamed of personal wealth, but because I dreamed it could literally make the world a better place. Call me idealistic. Guilty as charged.
At the time most of my friends scoffed at my lofty dreams. Here in the developed world where I live, most people accept that our economic situation is essentially stable. If people put their money in the bank, they have confidence that it will stay there, and that it will be worth about the same when they withdraw as when they deposit. Yes, inflation causes a devaluation of their funds, but to most people it’s just a slow drip of annoyance rather than a real issue of importance. Further, none of us ever encounter real problems with purchasing goods and services with our credit and debit cards. The fees and occasional fraud might cause annoyance, but again not so much that we lose any sleep over it. So, my friends asked, why bother with cryptocurrency? What problem is it really solving?