Let’s see where the change starts and how blockchain technology relates to the crisis caused by COVID-19.
Major changes in history often result in a systemic crisis.
The etymology of the word “crisis” refers to the Greek word krino = discern, judge, evaluate.
Its positive meaning can be helpful to experience difficult times as an opportunity for growth.
Cash and contagion
States’ reactions to the Coronavirus are increasingly radical. The need to limit contagion places quarantine on paper cash as well.
As seen in South Korea or China, precautions are of the most varied kind and perhaps the beginning of a historical change.
Some banks disinfect banknotes by subjecting them to high temperatures, others use ultraviolet light and some even impose a proper quarantine on paper money itself.
In the most extreme cases, they are destroyed to be replaced with a decontaminated series.
Fan Yifei, Vice Governor of the Chinese Central Bank, announced days ago the measures that led to an extraordinary issuance of 4 billion Yuan in new banknotes for Hubei Province.
After the statement of the World Health Organization that confirmed that Covid-19 can remain on cash for several days, the thought turns immediately to electronic forms of payment, recommended as the safest method against contagion.
COVID-19: making cash disappear
So what can we expect during and after this emergency? Surely the push for cash digitization will be strong.
The path many states have embarked on with experiments and programmes for the creation of digital coins will accelerate.
They will be able to replace cash and enter computer applications by replacing credit cards.
What to expect from a cashless society?
- Decrease in privacy;
- Capacity of social control and centralized management of the data relative to the habits of the citizens (control of the underground);
- Ease of confiscation and censorship of transactions;
- Decrease in individual freedoms;
- Centralization of power in the hands of a few companies.
If these problems are combined with a management of monetary policies controlled by a few individuals who have strong repercussions on the savings of the citizens, there is no doubt that there is a need for an alternative ready to balance the axis of strength between the controller and the controlled, or rather between the elite and the people.
The difficulties that we will face at an economic level will bring an injection of liquidity, where will the resources be channelled and who will pay the price for these emergency measures? These questions are open to discussion.
Public blockchains and cryptocurrencies
A moment of crisis, in other words, a moment of reflection, of evaluation, of discernment, can be transformed into the necessary prerequisite for improvement, for a rebirth, for future flourishing.
Therefore, the crisis opens to the need to take responsibility for the future of money and digital interactions between individuals.
Stopping the impact of technology that through the internet and smart working has strengthened in the face of the epidemic would be insane, but the search for models of use that safeguard our individual freedoms and diminish the power of a few system players is fundamental.
WEB 3.0 could be an answer.
We can make ourselves more aware of how public blockchain structures are governed, compare systems and study their possibilities to take advantage of an opportunity provided by technology to make sure that it is not used against us.