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All About the Crypto Benjamins
Every week I’m learning something new about cryptocurrency. The latest I’ve learned is to understand that the entire enterprise can be…
Every week I’m learning something new about cryptocurrency. The latest I’ve learned is to understand that the entire enterprise can be thought about as the process of engineering money. That means each cryptocurrency can be thought of as a different kind of money for a specific purpose. Not as a different kind of investment vehicle in a zero-sum game of scarcity across currencies, but more as an evolving vehicle, each for its specific purpose.
What makes a cryptocurrency better or worse? As such, each cryptocurrency has to prove itself hardy enough to survive those who will attack it. That’s one interpretation of ‘better’ cryptocurrency, but in general you have to think of better for what. Each is engineered in a specific way for a specific purpose. If Ripple is better for speed of transaction than Bitcoin, then maybe there is a $50 trillion market for fast transactions. That doesn’t correspondingly mean that there is not some other $50 trillion market for slow transactions, or some other $50 trillion market for something nobody has yet anticipated.
For example what about ‘tax dollars’? Somebody could invent a new cryptocurrency specifically for government spending that makes it very easy to buy anonymously but very difficult or impossible to spend without maximum transparency. So you buy ‘tax dollars’ from Walmart or 7–11 and send them to the IRS, but the government can’t spend it until 300 Congressmen sign it, and then every dollar gets accounted back to the people who bought it.
There could be ‘charity dollars’ of the sort where no big name rich person could brag about how much money they gave and get their name on a building or their picture on a wall.
We already have cash value cards for all of the major retailers from Starbucks to Bed, Bath and Beyond. We already have EBT as a way of spending welfare monies. These are specific kinds of value exchanges that are limited in scope but already understandable to the public. I think we’re all ready for what cryptocurrencies promise in terms of these simple applications, but these are just the beginning.