Even post-Brexit, London continues to be a city at the centre of economic and entrepreneurial change for the better. While the city may at present be in the grip of both Brexit blues and Covid-19, the future is still looking bright. One of the most exciting ways London life is likely to change in the years to come is, of course, through the wider adoption of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
Even if you’ve not already jumped on the bitcoin bandwagon, its success is hard to ignore. Despite UK laws still being a bit shaky on what we can and can’t do with digital money, that hasn’t stopped people from getting into crypto. With that in mind, how might we expect crypto to change the way we deal with money for years to come?
Shopping made digital
Thanks to changes in its legislation, Australia is leading the way in terms of crypto adoption. You can now use crypto in shops and stores across the country. There’s no need for you to dig deep for change or loose coins. While we can already use contactless payments and Apple Pay across London, the idea of leaving fiat money behind altogether is pretty attractive.
Shoppers could load up their digital wallets at home and head on out to physical shops. Transactions are instantaneous and secure. That means less need for clunky cards and loose money weighing us down. Could it mean that purses and wallets disappear completely in the years to come? Unlikely, but possible.
More international contact
Both Covid-19 and Brexit shakiness are harming international trade at the time of writing. However, in time to come, should London embrace cryptocurrency, it’s likely we’ll have more contact with international brands and services.
Bitcoin, for example, is a global currency. Anyone, anywhere in the world can invest in it (with a few offering legal restrictions). They can even automate what they sell and what they buy using simple auto trading software. As mentioned, transactions happen instantly. There’s no need to wait around for red tape delays.
Therefore, once things settle down from Brexit and pandemic woes, cryptocurrency could help to bridge new trade opportunities in the city. It’s all going to depend on how UK lawmakers treat bitcoin in future, however.
More privacy and control
If there is one concern in the digital age which affects all smartphone and internet users, it’s privacy. Concerns over the way our social media profiles and data process continue and often for good reason. However, it’s thought that cryptocurrency will help to give everyday people more power over their data and their identities.
Many big companies trade in data. Think of all the apps and programs you are likely to use each day. How many of them know your name, your mobile number, your date of birth and your address? Have you read through all your privacy statements?
Crypto trading, to some extent, takes away the threat of leaking and trading in such data. Blockchain ledgers, through which cryptocurrencies operate, allow you to make anonymous payments and set up private agreements. Contracts are firm. There is next to no threat of your data leaking or being put in a compromising position.
Therefore, the world might start getting a little more private again. This is great news for anyone who may be fervently against the idea of ‘selling data.’
Will changes happen soon?
More and more businesses are getting into crypto and are accepting payments. However, those based in London are largely likely to be small entrepreneurs and start-ups, or bigger conglomerates who are virtually infallible on the world stage. Everyone in between, it seems, might still be a little shaky on what to expect.
That’s because crypto such as bitcoin is famously volatile. This means that it is just as likely to fall as it is to rise in value. If anything, learning to buy and sell at the right time on the crypto markets takes a lot of practice. It may simply be a case of learning how to ‘ride the waves.’
Therefore, plenty of businesses and public bodies are probably going to steer clear of crypto for a while, but it seems likely that everyday life for a lot of people could improve if London brands started opening up.
It’s clear that some online industries are already suffering thanks to Brexit. Couldn’t an easy way around this be to move from fixed markets to digital currency? We will have to wait and see what happens next.