THE FUTURE OF MONEY
By Ronit Gandhi
The idea of money is a very ancient one and it’s one which can be dated back to approximately 5000 B.C. where humans used metal objects in exchange for goods and services: a concept that doesn’t seem too unfamiliar to us today. However, money as we know it today is changing with the technological revolution that’s in our midst. We are moving towards a completely cashless society.
The movement towards the human race being a cashless society has already started in developed countries shown with Apple Pay recording over a billion transactions in Q3 2018 alone. The idea that we only need our phones or even simply a watch to pay for something has further progressed the cashless revolution started by credits cards. The younger generation, especially millennials, don’t see the need to carry cash as the majority of them are always carrying a phone or smart watch when they leave the house.
The most exciting idea of the future of money is one where you wouldn’t need to have an interaction with another human at all to pay for goods and services. You may be wondering how this is possible but with the implementation of RFID chips implanted into human hands this could become a widespread practice within the next decade. The idea is quite simple; you get a chip implanted in your hand and you can pick something off a shelf with a RFID chip in it as well and walk out the shop. As you walk out the shop a scanner would detect what you are buying and would charge you using your implanted chip. Amazon have taken the first steps towards this and have started a new type of cashierless supermarket called ‘Amazon Go’. It operates on the same basis but using your phone to charge you rather than an implanted microchip. The idea has been a huge success with Amazon planning to open 3000 more cashier-less stores by 2021.
We are in the final stages of moving towards a completely cashless society where all money is digital and this idea is being cemented by the creation of blockchain and cryptocurrencies. Blockchain explained simply is a technology where a currency can be exchanged without a middleman such as a bank; it’s very secure and heavily encrypted as each transaction has to be approved by every other computer in the network. As more computers are added the more approval the transaction has to go through hence the term ‘chain’ as it gets stronger as more links (computers) are added.
Cryptocurrencies, with the most popular being Bitcoin and Ethereum, function from this technology and are paving the way for a more secure and decentralised form of money in the digital world further adding evidence to the idea of cashless society being able to form in the very near future.