IMF: Cryptocurrency could be part of human evolution

IMF: Cryptocurrency could be part of human evolution

When talking about evolution, usually what we understand is the universal process that consists of the gradual change of living beings and the rest of the objects of the natural world.
However, just as living beings evolve, so do some concepts we have about things, even the term of evolution itself.

One of the institutions that has been very open-minded about the development of cryptocurrency and Blockchain technology is the International Monetary Fund, whose Managing Director, Christine Lagarde, believes that digital assets could trigger a “large-scale shift away” from government-issued fiat currencies.

Nonetheless, the IMF this time went farther by offering another fascinating perspective on the future of cryptocurrencies. In a recent article written by Director of the IMF’s Strategy, Policy, and Review Department, Martin Mühleisen, called “The Future of Currency in a Digital World,” cryptocurrencies are described as an important part of human evolution.

But without undermine the content of the article, it must be noted the picture that illustrates it, which shows an early version of man with a bag of cash, followed by whom looks like a Homo Erectus holding a credit card under his arm, and finally a modern, athletic man holding a giant smartphone and a Bitcoin floating over the palm of his hand.

In the text there's a quote that stands out from the rest: “Digital technology will spread further, and efforts to ignore it or legislate against it will likely fail.”

In his writing piece Mühleisen also explains that the emerging digital economy has the “power to continually transform itself, progressively branching out and boosting productivity across all sectors and industries. Such transformations are rare. Only three previous technologies earned this distinction: the steam engine, the electricity generator, and the printing press.”

Up until now we don’t have the certainty about how long it will take for a massive implementation of digital currencies and/or Blockchain technology, but as explained in the text of the IMF, this transformation has been in progress for quite some time.

“In the United Kingdom, Internet transactions already account for almost one-fifth of retail sales, excluding gasoline, up from just one-twentieth in 2008. And e-commerce sites are applying their data skills to finance. The Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba already owns a bank and is using knowledge about its customers to provide small-scale loans to Chinese consumers. Amazon.com, the American e-commerce site, is moving in the same direction.”

But Mühleisen thinks this goes beyond financial implications. He explains how the technology progress is also going to change the labor sector as we know it.

“Digitalization will also transform people’s jobs. The jobs of up to one-third of the US workforce, or about 50 million people, could be transformed by 2020, according to a report published last year by the McKinsey Global Institute.”

The study referred to by Mühleisen also estimates that about half of all paid activities could be automated using existing robotics and artificial and machine learning technologies.

In the final part of the article, the Director of the IMF’s Strategy, Policy, and Review Department concludes by saying: “With good policies and a willingness to cooperate across borders, we can and should harness these exciting technologies to improve well-being without diminishing the energy and enthusiasm of the digital age.”

 

By Alejandro Cortés

Source: International Monetary Fund

  • Alejandro Cortés

    Alejandro Cortés

    Egresado de la Escuela Mexicana de Periodismo Carlos Septién García. Ha trabajado para varios periódicos en México y los Estados Unidos desde 2002.

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