governments are unable or unwilling to halt the advance of cryptocurrencies, it seems likely that the global financial system will be changed back to something like the gold standard, which would probably remove the worst excesses of inflation and manipulation. However, many economists contend that the gold standard brought its own problems of excessive deflation, unnecessarily prolonging economic depressions. You might have heard of the “war on cash”, which refers to the increasing move away from cash towards debit and credit cards, which has been encouraged by many governments on the basis that restricting or replacing cash transactions makes life harder for criminals and terrorists. Governments also must see another potential advantage: without cash, it will be easy to force negative interest rates upon their populations, should they wish, either overtly (such as Switzerland and Japan are doing now) or covertly by the means of bank charges. As cryptocurrency is effectively private, its full acceptance should kill the concept of negative interest rates. By now you probably understand why cryptocurrencies are very controversial and why their widespread adoption as a means of exchange will either face severe opposition from governments (as we are seeing now in China), or perhaps governments will try to seize control of the dominant cryptocurrencies, or even start their own versions! Governments are likely to say they need to keep control over currencies for the purposes of prevention of crime and tax evasion, which to be fair, are valid concerns. The question remains whether governments will be able to stop or block cryptocurrency
use within their borders. If they cannot, then it is likely to be a great long-term investment. If governments can find a way to block or restrict the use of cryptocurrencies, it may not be as successful as an investment.
- Spring '16