Cryptocurrency Future – Quantified Commerce
If you’ve been alive and not living under a rock for the past year, you’ve probably heard the word cryptocurrency. For those of you who have been living under a rock, cryptocurrency is a digital or virtual currency designed to work as a medium of exchange. It uses something called cryptography to secure and verify transactions as well as to control the creation of new units of a particular cryptocurrency, making them essentially entries in a database that no one can change unless specific conditions are filled. You’ve probably heard about Bitcoin, which is probably the most well known of the cryptocurrencies, but there are others such as Ethereum, Ripple, and Litecoin. All of these different types of cryptocurrency can be used to purchase real-world items, and offer interesting benefits over traditional currency.
So what are the benefits of cryptocurrency? One of the simplest ones is added security. Unlike traditional payment options like cash or cards, cryptocurrencies are encrypted by a software that was developed by the NSA. It is harder to steal cryptocurrency than it is to steal a wallet full of cash or to take someone’s identity online. This makes it a safer mode of payment as there is no chance for fraud.
One of the more beneficial advantages of cryptocurrency is the fact that it cuts out the middleman, eliminating expensive lawyers and brokers that raise the cost of already expensive transactions. Cryptocurrency can basically act like a property rights database, according to one financial expert, and can be used to execute and enforce two-party contracts on items like real estate and cars, which eliminates expensive legal and brokerage fees. Cryptocurrency also eliminates other fees. It can be a really painful experience to look at your monthly account statement to see the astronomical amount of charges that are built up from transferring money from one online forum to another, but with cryptocurrency, these charges are non-existent, which allows you to keep more money in your pocket.
There’s another benefit directly related to the growing digital economy. Cryptocurrency is not bound by exchange rates, interest rates or other charges, and they take place in the same amount of time, regardless of where the two parties, sender and receiver, are located. This is a great benefit for the new global economy which is all about speed. Since there are no exchange rates or delays based on location it’s an easier way to pay for goods and services regardless of what country you are in.
This is clearly good for businesses, especially e-commerce companies who do most of their transactions online. We spoke to Ryan Andreas the co-founder of one such company Quantified Commerce, that is focused on building e-commerce brands in India, “cryptocurrency is certainly interesting when it comes to doing business,” said Andreas, “especially for a company that is focused on global e-commerce like ours.” Companies like Quantified Commerce are able to leverage the fact that cryptocurrency allows for free transactions across the globe, which benefits both the company and its customers.
There is a problem when it comes to cryptocurrency, however, and it has to do with taxes or a lack of them. The fees cryptocurrency is able to circumvent also includes government taxes, which is why governments are cracking down. While it seems governments may stymie the growth of cryptocurrency, Andreas had something interesting to say in regards to their use in India, “India has always skipped a step, we skipped landline phones and went right to cellphones, it could be that the same thing happens in terms of crypto.”
While the future of cryptocurrency is still in flux, it seems companies like Quantified Commerce are doing their due diligence in terms of keeping an eye on the currency, and while it remains to be seen what if anything becomes of currencies like Bitcoin, there is certainly some sort of future in terms of crypto.