Digital currency may be the most effective way the world has ever seen to increase economic freedom. If this happens, the implications are profound. It could lift many countries out of poverty, improve the lives of billions of people, and accelerate the pace of innovation in the world.
What is economic freedom?
Economic freedom is a measure of how easy it is for members of a society to participate in the economy. It has a number of factors, such as:
- How easy it is to start a business
- Whether property rights are enforced (can you keep what belongs to you)
- Free trade with other nations
- Regulation of labor and business
- Stability of the currency
Several organizations exist that score and rank the countries of the world by how economically free they are.
Why is economic freedom important?
Economic freedom correlates with a number of positive outcomes in society.
Some you might expect, like higher per-capita income, life expectancy, and literacy. But economic freedom also correlates with some things you may not expect, like:
- Better income for the poorest 10%
- Improved environmental protection
- Fewer wars and violent conflicts
- Higher self-reported happiness of citizens
- Less corruption and bribery
Digital currency’s impact on economic freedom
Economic policy and financial infrastructure can take a long time to change. Some might say they have been frozen in time for the last forty years or more.
Now for the first time, with the proliferation of smartphones and the creation of cryptocurrency, we can have the opportunity to increase the economic freedom of every country around the world in a much more efficient way.
This is how digital currency enables economic freedom:
- It makes it easier to start a business: Anyone with an idea can have customers around the world in just a few hours. It reduces the friction of accepting payments, and helps companies expand globally.
- It enforces property rights: Many people today are unable to safely store wealth without it being stolen or confiscated. Digital currency will allow anyone to be in control of their own money. In this sense, digital currency will “bank” the unbanked of the world.
- It promotes free trade and globalization: Digital currency excels at cross border transfers. It breaks down barriers for people in different countries to trade with each other (for example to get a loan, or hire someone to complete a job).
- It enables freedom of contract: With Ethereum smart contracts, the hurdle has been lowered for people to enter agreements, regardless of where they live or whether they can afford a lawyer.
- It encourages people to leave low scoring countries: People will find it easier to emigrate if they can take their wealth with them and use it in a neighboring country. Digital currency makes every country’s economy interoperable. With lower switching costs, countries will improve.
- It reduces corruption and bribery: With fewer gatekeepers and intermediaries to start a business, there won’t be as many places to apply pressure or curry favor.
- It provides access to stable currency: Digital currencies are more volatile than the dollar or euro today, but their volatility has decreased every year (and are now approaching the levels of some fiat currencies). In the coming years, digital currency will be more stable than many of the 180+ fiat currencies in the world.
Today, digital currency is still in early stages. But as with many technologies, when it tips the result can be dramatic.
Digital currency has a number of applications emerging today (prediction markets, micro-payments, smart contracts, remittance, games, etc).
*This article is presented by: Swiftnlift Business Magazine