Wednesday, July 30, 2014

RETHINKING MONEY-9

Can we imagine something that seems a bit odd today? There is a digital currency called Ripple. There are more than 8 billion ripple coins in the global market. They are worth over $50 million today. They offer transactions in all major currencies of the world as well as the gold. There is no need of any bank or financial institutions involved and hence no transaction cost involved. Its cost is very near what was the worth of Bitcoin in 2009 just after its discovery. Still, every day, over $100,000 worth of Ripples are bought and transacted. Let us assume that some company like Amazon, Facebook, Alibaba, Google, Microsoft or Apple or a group of them decides to make Ripple payment another alternative payment currency sometime in 2016. Suddenly, the network that is limited to some lakh users shall immediately shift to hundreds of millions of users. The credibility stamp of such a big network shall add a big worth to this digital currency. Don't forget that this ripple coin is like electronic version of gold. There is an upper limit to the number of ripple coins that can be issued unlike paper currencies that can have unlimited money supply. It means that possibility of embedding digital currencies in existing social and media networks is huge. That is why the monetary scene in the world is sitting at tenterhooks. Once these are gone, people will change money so fast that no national system can adapt accordingly. This will be like a computer virus that will spread to millions in days if not in hours. That is why the anchoring of paper currencies to actual gold or silver is very important. No keynesian economist would accept such a possibility but that is the biggest fear that is stalking them at present. This may seem odd but for the imminent survival, they would have to anchor the paper money if they want to secure any credibility. An inflation ridden money is always like an uneasy burden. The moment a national citizen gets a credible global alternative, things would change very fast. I am talking of only Ripple coin at present but there are over 200 digital currencies like Ripple in this world. The chances of world currencies hitting a digital black hole is not very remote these days. I am not talking of big business or big banks rather i am talking of retail transactions. That is why no established voice or government agency is actually speaking of this danger because their interests are directly linked to status-quo. But this may not last for long because once people start shifting paper currencies with digital currencies, it would turn into an alternative revolution.

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