Using Cryptocurrencies in Everyday Life: Is the Future Here or Not?
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The pace of technological innovation has increased dramatically over the last fifty years. A small handheld device now has more computing power than the earliest computers that took up entire rooms. Paying exorbitant amounts of money for long distance phone calls is a thing of the past as people can now video chat with friends who live on the opposite side of the world. Of course, we still don't have flying cars or jet packs, but the digital age is fully upon us as is evident by the rise of cryptocurrencies. Is the promise of the future here as people look to use cryptocurrency in their everyday life?
Cryptocurrency is the Future
For hundreds of years, the economic systems of the world were controlled by national governments, corporations, and banks. Now the power of blockchain technology has unleashed many different cryptocurrencies, each of which is fighting to be fully integrated into everyday life. Decentralized platforms are allowing people to create an economic ecosystem that they have far greater control of than ever before. Of course, not every cryptocurrency is created equal.
Dash, for instance, has proven to be a popular cryptocurrency for people to use on a daily basis, and it has a long list of merchants accepting the coin at the project’s website. One of the digital currency's strong points is its commitment to privacy, which allows people to buy and sell goods and services without Big Brother looking over their shoulders. Dash features a near-instantaneous transfer speed with low fees. People can spend Dash cryptocurrency on a wide array of shops and services. Dash can be spent on professional hosting services, graphic design companies, online casinos, game shops, tons of online shops, and even precious metals.
Sibcoin is a cryptocurrency created from a fork on the Dash blockchain. Known much less than its mother coin, it too places a huge emphasis on privacy and quick peer-to-peer transfer speeds that only take a few seconds. However, unlike Dash, Sibcoin is very ASIC-resistant due to its cryptographic Streebog hash function. The coin also features X-Layer technology that makes its blockchain more interactive but still very secure, allowing users to create sidechains for their own custom digital assets and currencies. A project by Sibcoin called Perevod.io allows users to send fiat currency to one another without the need for, or any knowledge of, cryptocurrency expertise, and this service is available worldwide.
A number of cities are creating their own cryptocurrency for their citizens to use. Under the Colu banner, cities like Liverpool, Tel Aviv, and London are creating a localized cryptocurrency that is designed to bolster the local economy. Many local businesses are eager participants of such programs as there is no transaction fee for accepting the localized digital currency, unlike credit or debit cards. A person can use this type of cryptocurrency, such as the East London Pound, to roll into their local pub and buy a pint, grab a bite to eat at a restaurant, and then watch a movie at the theater.
Heavy Hitters Lead the Charge to a Digital Tomorrow
Some of cryptocurrency's biggest names lead the push for digital currency acceptance and everyday use. Ethereum has proven to be a very popular cryptocurrency, and many platform tokens are based upon its blockchain. Ethereum really ushered in a new age with the smart contract, whose impact is only just getting started. Like most major cryptocurrencies, people can use Ethereum-based debit cards for everyday use. There are some potential issues with Ethereum such as the collapse of The DAO, resulting in a hard fork, and the currency has had some volatility, going up and down in value. Still, that hasn't kept Ethereum from expanding and being used in everyday life. Case in point is that hundreds of electric car charging stations have been opened in Germany that use Ethereum, and such stations have now appeared in California. Toyota is looking at creating an alternative to Uber that uses Ethereum as well.
Bitcoin is the cryptocurrency that even your grandmother knows about (but still doesn't understand). Bitcoin has reshaped many economies throughout the world as payments via bitcoins have become a never-ceasing reality. There are Bitcoin-based debit cards like other digital currencies. People are now starting to be able to buy real estate, pay their rent, or book a flight using Bitcoin. A number of brick-and-mortar stores are now accepting Bitcoin for payment purposes and both Bitcoin and Litecoin can be used to buy gift cards for the most popular retail chains, such as Target, Best Buy, iTunes, Hope Depot, and Domino's Pizza. Yet Bitcoin can suffer from major valuation swings, causing people to lose 20% or more of their worth in an instant. The high energy cost for transactions is becoming worrisome as well, and the rate of transaction can be pretty slow.
There are some individuals that would argue that the advent of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology is not bringing the future into the present, but those people would be mistaken. Decentralized financial ecosystems that rely upon the individual are the face of the future. Even though we're not flying around in flying saucers yet, coins like Dash, Bitcoin, and Sibcoin allow for p2p transactions across the entire world, and the trustless blockchain is just starting its revolution. A number of cryptocurrencies allow people to use them with ease through debit cards, there are digital currencies that go further and allow transactions of fiat currency as well. Plus, an ever-growing number of brick-and-mortar businesses are now accepting various cryptocurrencies as a legitimate means of payment.
One of the most important aspects of tomorrow being brought into today is an emphasis on individual privacy. The 20th century saw people become increasingly overseen by the state as banks and other institutions could track purchases, bank deposits, and other economic activities. The future is now as cryptocurrency is fighting to bring privacy back to people's financial interactions, even though some coins (Dash and Sibcoin) are better than others (Bitcoin and Ethereum) in this regard.