Thomas Frey has a vision of a decentralized tomorrow. Frey, whose titles according to his Twitter profile include the architect of the future, author and senior futurist at the DaVinci Institute, made a bold prediction about the future of cryptocurrencies, a prediction that implies that they outgrow the fiat money in just over a decade. He told Time’s Money:
“Cryptocurrency is very much here to stay [and] are going to displace roughly 25% of national currencies by 2030. They’re just much more efficient, the way they run.”
They’re just much more efficient, the way they work.”
But he didn’t say which ones.
Bitcoin is considered both a digital money and a store of value, and although it has made progress as a payment method, it is still not an option in most US and UK e-commerce companies or in brick and mortar retail stores. Frey’s prediction is all the more impressive.
He then discussed the International Monetary Foundation (IMF), underlining the remarks of General Manager Christine Lagarde, who incidentally deplores the amount of electricity ordered by bitcoin extraction. But Frey’s point surrounds what the peculiar ability of bitcoin and others to disrupt banks.
“When people like Christine Lagarde say cryptocurrencies could displace central banks and international banking, that’s very significant,” he noted.
Frey, who is expected to speak to U. S. Fed officials about cryptocurrencies later this year, equated bitcoin transactions with real estate transactions. Instead of physical property, the seller drops a “digital chunk… in the cloud.” Its categorization is not far removed from how the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) describes cryptocurrencies as property, although bitcoin transactions are not subject to the same tax benefits as real estate sales.
“Legitimate asset class”
Frey was not the only futurist thinking about the future of cryptocurrencies and their role in the financial system. James Canton of the Institute for Global Futures observed what many others have tried to say – “the legitimization of a new asset class emerging alongside the traditional global economy.”
Canton compares this new asset class with that of stocks and bonds, saying that cryptocurrencies are in the same way a cyclical market, a market that will result in both declines and “perhaps… vast riches”. Despite the volatility, he recommends that “it’s a worthy area for people to experiment with their investment portfolios really carefully.” Investors are increasingly getting the opportunity to do so, as Canton predicts a rising number of “investment vehicles to come from crypto finance.”