We know a lot about the currencies of the past: man has traded in beads, skins, cattle, seashells. Man has kept a ledger on clay tablets, knotted ropes and pieces of plank. But what is the currency of the future?
Somehow, computers must be involved. But there is also the question of the value of the currency. For now, central banks control that value. But what if people decide to do away with central banks? In the past, city-states and nobilities have issued their own coins, in gold. So what if local economies, cities or even companies decide to produce and distribute their own coin of value?
Cryptocurrencies can work just like gold. They are unique, and anyone can build them. So they can become a store of value for anyone. People can monetize their talents, products or ideas without the need of a central bank to give the definition of value.
And cryptocurrencies behave much like gold in that they can be made scarce and non-inflationary.
Almost every part of the world has seen the gloomy situation of hyperinflation. And for some regions, a cryptocurrency that does not allow for inflation looks more and more appealing. Could Bitcoin be that currency? But there are altcoins that have similar properties and work even better for anonymous, safe and fast transactions.
Since the world is essentially completely globalized by the Internet, the currency of the future would work all over the world, saving the work of exchanging between local currencies.
And a currency of the future would also be easy to use. It would be as easy as sending an email. But there is also the issue of security- a digital currency can have security and even anonymous features built into the package. Currently, with some work, someone could impersonate you before your bank. But no one can impersonate you to a cryptocurrency wallet- no one can invent a private key and fool the network.
Several contenders are fighting to become the default, user-friendly cryptocurrency. Litecoin, Dash, Ethereum are the current leaders, closely followed by anonymous coins Monero and ZCash. Who will be the winner- it is still early to say. But the competition is on.