With global economic growth projected to be 5.4% in 2021 by the International Monetary Fund; some 6½ percentage points lower than in the pre-COVID-19 projections of January 2020, the world is far from recovered from the economic impact of the pandemic.
“In Australia, whilst we have outperformed the world on the virus and in a number of ways our economy, our economy has been held together by band aids which are starting to come off. Whilst the recession arrived quickly, it will leave slowly and, even with extra tax cuts for families and businesses, Australia, along with the rest of the world still faces a big cash crunch between now and March 2021”. – Deloitte October 2020.
In years gone by, the old saying that ‘cash is king’ rang true not just in the world of banking, but for financial literacy educators and traders alike. Yet the world’s relationship with cash has been devolving over the years, with many consumers choosing to forego carrying around physical currency, instead swapping for digital payment methods like Apple or Samsung pay that have continued to grow in popularity and use among all age groups over time. Results from the Reserve Bank of Australia’s 2019 Consumer Payment Survey show that cash use has fallen drastically amongst Australian’s, dropping from 43% to 32% of transactions. When asked why these consumers still use cash, the top reason was for privacy and security purposes, a concern that leads many consumers who want to give up cash to look at alternative payment options such as digital currencies. Digital currencies in particular are known for their highly secure blockchain technology foundation, attracting consumers who are prudent about their digital security.
Thus, the digital alternative of digital currency rises to the challenge as the new player on the world economy stage. Cryptocurrency for the traditionalists, first emerged just over 10 years ago. But, like most currencies since the dawn of time, they evolved, as has this industry. Enter the alternative, the new player on the world economy stage. Digital and cryptocurrencies to the traditionalists, first emerged just over 10 years ago. But, like most currencies since the dawn of time, they evolved. In its earliest formation, the crypto world operated almost exclusively for tech savvy, digital enthusiasts and grassroots infrastructures didn’t lend to widespread ease of access and understanding. Since those early years however, digital currencies have evolved into one of the most accessible financial assets available to consumers that is easy to use and secure. This evolution of digital currencies has threatened the reign of cash as digital assets rise in popularity.
On the back of the weakening of so many global Fiat (cash) currencies, it is not just ‘mums and dads’ that are becoming more inquisitive about the benefits offered by digital currencies. JP Morgan, one of the largest retail banks in the United States, has in previous years been a staunch opponent of digital currencies. In May of 2020 however, the bank backtracked on their previous stance, announcing that they themselves are already processing digital currency transactions on their platforms and plan to create their own coin in the future. Many traditional banking institutions are moving in the same direction as JP Morgan and are embracing the role of this new digital asset.
Not all digital currencies are equal however, some can be used only exclusively for trading, some for online gaming and others in everyday life. Because of the evolution of this new era of currency, many Australians are looking into the future and are deciding where their ‘money’ should be best stored, spent and invested, thanks to digital currencies like Australian born Qoin. Unlike other digital currencies, Qoin brings a unique range of services to its consumers and merchants alike. Entering the market in January of 2020, Qoin is what is known as a utility coin. Put simply, utility coins provide all the perks of digital currency online trading, spending and investing, whilst combining the ability for it to be used in everyday life.
“The Qoin vision is to create a global community supporting local business’ and their customers”, says Andrew Barker, CMO of Qoin Australia. “More than 20,000 businesses have joined the Qoin community across Australia and accept payment in Qoin for their products and services”.
In October 2020, Qoin Australia welcomed its first consumers into the community. “We have seen more than 10,000 transactions occur already via the Qoin blockchain and heard of consumers paying for everything from dinner, through to custom made kitchens and cars using Qoin. It’s wonderful to see how the Australian public have embraced Qoin, but not surprising with the uncertainty people have in the current economy” said Mr. Barker.
“We know we are different to the more traditional, speculative currencies in this space, but we are in a different market, where business owners, Mums and Dads, their family and friends can all try out an alternative to earning, spending and saving. We’ve made it very simple through our Qoin wallet, available for download through The App Store or Google Play. There is a directory of participating merchants and they can kick off their Qoin journey right then and there.”
“We are not saying we will change the world, but we can give people a choice about their money and financial future”, said Andrew. Qoin continues to grow outside of the Australian market, opening up further opportunities for value growth and utility. In 2020 Qoin launched in New Zealand, and has plans to launch in the United Kingdom and Asia in 2021.
As cash use continues to dwindle as a method of payment, and digital payments increase, it’s likely that finance gurus will retire the proverb of cash being king. Like in all aspects in life, when one product ceases to provide what consumers need, another product takes its place and with the swift rise of digital currency, that certainly seems to be the case. As the ongoing pandemic continues to change consumer behaviour, it is likely we will see these changes accelerate. Maybe it’s digital currency that’s king after all.