The current crypto play …
Bitcoin and Ethereum continued their gains this week. The BTC/USD pair has climbed 10.4% to 50,415.50 USD from its value on 1 March 2021, while the ETH/USD pair has climbed 9.6% to 1,565.26 USD over the same period. The BTC/EUR and ETH/EUR pairs also climbed 10.4% and 9.6%, respectively between 1 March and 4 March 2021. The BTC/GBP and ETH/GBP pairs have followed suit with increases of 10.2% and 9.4%, respectively.
Another example of more practical crypto use: NFTs
Rock group Kings of Leon recently announced that they are dropping a new album in the form of a non-fungible token, A non-fungible token is a type of cryptocurrency that holds assets like art, tickets, or music and operates on blockchain technology. According to an article in The Rolling Stone, music groups are exploring NFTs as a way to offset two decades of losses due in great part to streaming where consumers are gaining access to an artist’s product at next to nothing costs.
While some may view this type of cryptocurrency as nothing by coupons on steroids, I believe the ability of individuals, groups, and institutions to turn their brands into micro-economies creates a long term problem for governments. For example, as a Kings of Leon NFT comprised of intricate digital art work grows in popularity over the years, it becomes a tradeable asset with increasing gains. Not only will it be tradeable for dollars, but it will be traded for other NFTs or other digital assets issued by your “utility” platforms. Kroger, Southern Company, and Delta may accept from a resident of Atlanta a NFT in exchange for a certain amount of groceries, energy, or airline tickets.
In the future, for consumers who are denied access to private platforms where they can trade for NFTs or other digital assets, they may be stuck with the dollar as their only currency. The future problem for the US government could be that a reduced network effect resulting from a fall off in use of its payment system may find government forced to shift more of the cost burden onto poorer citizens with no access to private platforms. Will government have to redesign its purpose in order to meet a potential shift in the use of its payment systems? And if so, how should that shift look?
4 March 2021, 1:22 pm EST