The very notion of global currencies is changing significantly. We’ve talked before about how virtual currency has been fast to emerge for the past several years. We’ve also talked about the spending power of loyalty reward points. But, increasingly, other global currencies are giving rise to an alternative financial system that may become harder to regular, control, and predict.
As more people lose faith in financial institutions, many national currencies are falling prey to alternatives. Economic hard times, coupled with advances in technology, have produced a wave of new channels of exchange, which let people extract value and do business in completely new ways. A variety of sanctions on countries, institutions and people are also creating a need for new ways to pay and be paid. To skeptics, virtual currencies may seem like a newfangled version of Monopoly money. To others, virtual currencies may seem like the end to a money monopoly. But the answer is somewhere in the middle. Rather, what we are seeing is the gradual decentralization and democratization of currency.