Prediction

In 2040 people are socializing, working and living all through their digital wallets. Back in the 2020s, digital wallets only existed on a person's smartphone, but now, due to the growth of bio-technology, people are able to utilize their digital wallets and spend digital currencies through bio-chips in their wrists and smart glasses/lenses. It has never been easier for an individual to pay for their everyday needs. 

It was predicted that paper money would be gone by 2020, however it wasn't until the 2030s that the growth of smart technologies and bio-technology implants made it possible to completely phase out the need to carry physical money anymore. An individual now has a breath of resources to select from to store their digital wallet. This has opened up more opportunities to carry multiple currencies at one time, including bitcoin and ethereum.

Government bodies have even started branching out into digital currencies and have formed their own unique form of money, giving their local economy greater stability. This has had a significant impact not only on the thriving economies of the world, but most importantly on developing countries that are now going through a substantial transformational change.

Looking ahead, expect iris scans are to become more prevalent in consumer transactions, as its superior automated technology offers advanced security against cybercrimes, data theft, and other risks compared to digital devices.

Why did this happen?

Why were people so willing to move on from paper money? Some experts say technology came along in the nick of time to fill the void created by consumers' collapse of trust in traditional financial institutions. Others say it's just a return to the way things used to be a very long time ago.

There's also no discounting how COVID-19 played in the demise of paper currency. Paper money is typically seen as a carrier of germs and disease, and as the pandemic grew, struggling businesses insisted people use plastic or contactless smartphones to complete transactions.

Impact

Like most things tech-related, the move to digital currencies has come with advantages and disadvantages.

Coins are no longer manufactured, saving countries and territories millions if not billions of dollars in the mining of metal. And with physical money no longer in play, the rate of deforestation has dropped significantly.

Producing digital currency also requires investment in highly secure data infrastructures that need high amounts of energy to power air conditioning. In addition, cybersecurity still remains a paramount concern for governments, who must pour billions into their defense budgets for cyber armies and cyber police to safeguard their digital assets. To overcome some of these challenges, governments and businesses are also taking steps like investing in underwater data centers to reduce emissions and the need for air conditioning.

Still, the shift to digital currencies has started to democratize finance in ways that could never have been imagined at the turn of the 21st century. Many experts agree that the advantages are enormous when it comes to things like entrepreneurial access to capital and international payments. They believe open-source, transparent, decentralized currencies are unstoppable forces whose power has only just begun to be realized.

     

  

Authors

Guillermo Fernandez

Guillermo Fernandez

KPMG in Spain

Dominic Short

Dominic Short

University of Leeds

  

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