A new world has fully crept up on us in the west and we remain as narcoleptic as ever.
When Eric Adams, the Democrat politician, was confirmed winner of the New York mayoral elections, earlier this month, the former policeman announced that he would be receiving his wages in bitcoin.
What’s of note here, is that Adams wasn’t only public figure to make this extraordinary pronouncement about the cryptocurrency in recent times.
Odell Beckham, the Los Angeles Rams football star also did announce that he would be receiving his salary in bitcoins.
At the rate that we are headed, don’t be surprised when your local drug dealer flatly rejects cash and demands to be paid in bitcoin or ethereum.
This all seems a far cry from the heady days of the global financial crash, when money from drug cartels kept the system afloat. It isn’t at all an exaggeration to state that cash money reigned supreme, back then.
But how did we get here and exactly how did we cash become such an irrelevance?
It has been a very long time in the making.
Allied to the machinations of the likes of Peter Thiel and Max Levchin, who helped create the profoundly successful payment platform known as PayPal, the governments of Sweden, Denmark and Switzerland have all turned to ‘negative interest rates’ which penalizes savings.
Negative interest rates are thought to be one of the best ways to stimulate investment and encourage risk taking among individuals.
Twenty years ago, PayPal was the only beast in the jungle. These days you have Stripe, Currency Fair and other players emerging to stake their claim to the business of cashless payments.
And when you factor bitcoin’s preeminence, then you have an idea of how much the game has changed, right under our noses.
What online payment platforms have done is to tap into our anxieties about parting ways with our physical cash and found creative methods which impels us to spend more than we need at every turn.
Which leads us to the next point.