By Ivan Soto-Wright, Founder & CEO, MoonPay
Cryptocurrencies: the revolution taking over the financial services system.
After a year of cash payments generally declining due to the pandemic, our future of a cashless society seems almost inevitable and getting ever closer. However, looking further ahead, cryptocurrencies appear to herald the future of the payments industry,
A number of mainstream payments platforms like PayPal and Visa have already integrated cryptocurrency payments; and a petition aimed at getting Amazon, the world’s largest Internet company by revenue, to accept cryptocurrencies is gaining increasing momentum. These tentative first steps of cryptocurrencies into the mainstream financial services system come at the same time as chief executive, Jeff Bezos, is said to be secretly creating his own virtual currency.
Potential acceptance of crypto payments from global companies will only accelerate cryptocurrencies’ widespread adoption. Once a niche technology, the possibilities for the next steps of the cryptocurrency revolution are seemingly endless and they play a vital part in the transition to a cashless financial ecosystem. This will, in turn, bring a host of benefits for users, including faster transactions, lower costs for banks and financial services firms and a lower risk of tax evasion, as the days of fumbling for loose change in one’s wallet, or scrabbling to find a note to give a tip at a restaurant, are numbered.
The future of the payments system
If Amazon were to accept payments in cryptocurrencies, their value would skyrocket overnight by means of endorsement. However, potential for acceptance of cryptocurrencies from Amazon highlights the fact that global businesses do not want to miss out. Companies including Wikipedia, Microsoft and even Burger King use cryptocurrencies, indicating that crypto as a payments source is edging its way into the mainstream, with those in power realising that if they do not embrace the revolution, they will be left behind.
Take Burger King; for example – one of the pioneers of cryptocurrencies in the fast food industry. In January 2020, the company began accepting crypto payments, a step following efforts that stretched back to 2016, when the fast food monarch’s efforts were perhaps slightly premature in allowing consumers to buy their meals with cryptos. However; fast forward five years and cryptocurrencies are firmly integrated into the burger giant’s ecosystem – as ubiquitous as fries, onion rings and Whoppers.
Integration into the mainstream
The benefits of cryptocurrencies to both businesses and consumers would be extensive. As the world continues to innovate, and companies across the globe scramble to keep up with the digital revolution, how payments are made will require speed, ease and security for users in our increasingly connected world. Crypto payments will bring fraud reduction, user autonomy and removal of barriers and restrictions to trade, therefore redressing measures for data privacy and oversight. As global companies continue to bring new pools of customers into the crypto ecosystem, the security and speed it enables will become more apparent.
It appears that, for the next generation, cryptocurrencies will be a common concept. The march to the mainstream we are currently seeing is further exemplified by Coinbase, a platform for buying and selling cryptocurrencies, becoming the first major cryptocurrency company to go public in the United States last Wednesday and which serves as testament to mainstream adoption of cryptocurrencies.
What does the future hold?
It has long been accepted that the future is cash free, and with the apparent interest from global companies such as those on Amazon’s scale, not to mention how integrated they already are into numerous global enterprises, cryptocurrencies now have the opportunity to continue to innovate on a more centralised basis.The cryptocurrency revolution looks swift, stable and reliable. As more and more businesses adopt them as a payment form, it will become increasingly apparent that they enable an unmatched level of security and provide a clear record of previous transactions. In our progressively globalised world, the ability to make payments almost immediately and worldwide is paramount and this is where cryptocurrencies excel. The revolution isn’t just on the horizon, it’s already underway.