Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum have taken off this year, attracting investment from all over the world and achieving mainstream adoption.
Blockchain technology is attracting interest from many industries, with the surging price of Bitcoin and Ethereum’s first mainstream application CryptoKitties two recent standouts.
MyBroadband spoke to cryptocurrency expert Simon Dingle about the effects of cryptocurrency and blockchain applications on traditional markets, with financial systems a prime target for disruption.
An increasing number of people are becoming involved in cryptocurrency, valuing the decentralised digital cash above traditional investments.
“Right now, Bitcoin is attracting a lot of younger people away from traditional investments,” said Dingle.
“A recent survey in the USA revealed that 30% of investors between the age of 18 and 34 would prefer Bitcoin over company stocks or government bonds.”
Dingle believes the increased interest and investment in Bitcoin will continue, as it is a store of value, while other cryptocurrencies will put pressure on traditional markets.
This is especially true of Ethereum, which aims to revolutionise the asset exchange, legal, and finance industries with its potential as a decentralised world computer.
Dingle believes that banks will adopt blockchain technology, but that the real change will happen when users forgo traditional banking in favour of decentralised systems.
“Like all big corporates, large financial institutions are playing at innovation while adopting a wait-and-see attitude and engaging with charlatans at large consulting firms and enterprise software companies,” said Dingle.
“Like newspapers 10 years ago, they’ll only realise that the carpet has been swept from under them once it’s too late to prevent a fall.”
He said certain institutions may adopt cryptocurrency in an innovative way, but there is currently little evidence of this happening.
Taking over the world
Dingle said the number of young investors putting money into cryptocurrency will probably increase as the debt crisis intensifies and world markets go through a downturn.
“The future is cryptocurrency, and disregarding it requires you to stick your head firmly in the sand,” he said.
Dingle said the entire financial system will eventually transition away from centralised structures to new, decentralised systems where no trusted third parties are required.
“Cryptocurrencies are inherently global and do not operate in terms of borders. This is the first planetary revolution in governance and, as such, is unprecedented.”
“Ultimately, this will change all of society, if successful, and will threaten the nation state, decimating the current status quo of government by fiat.”