It used to be unthinkable to go out for the day without having cash with you. But lately I find many days I set out with nothing in my wallet but plastic. What’s even stranger – I sense more of a mental disconnect between using a card and really experiencing the fact that my money is leaving my hands.
Yet this continuing abstraction of money from actual coins and bills to plastic cards and now numbers on a computer screen at least represents something we understand: American currency. But has the ultimate abstraction of money come to pass with the arrival of Bitcoin?
In case you haven’t heard of it, Bitcoin’s a type of digital currency that uses sophisticated encryption technology to create and track the owner of a particular bitcoin (according to the Bitcoin website, while the Bitcoin concept is capitalized, the individual units of “currency” are not). The technology underlying it is called the blockchain and, after initially dismissing Bitcoin as an unreliable toy for techies, banks are now paying attention to it, even though it’s that underlying technology they really want.
Japan: Negative on Rates, Positive on Bitcoin
When it comes to tech innovations, if you want to