The world can be a volatile place. In recent weeks we have seen increased levels of political instability in the Middle East, tension between the United Kingdom and Russia along with an acceleration in the ferocity of several ongoing conflicts in Africa.
For most of the readers of this article, the events above are distant and often abstract. Residents of Ireland, the United States or any other major Western European economy have not had to deal with a major conflict on their own doorstep for over seventy years. War for most is thankfully a distant memory.
But what if conflict did break out again in Europe? We live in a totally different technological environment to the war ridden past.
In particular how would Cryptocurrency be used and what impact would it have if rich countries with mature banking systems chose war to resolve their differences.
Business could boom
In the event of a major modern war in a sophisticated economy the computer dependent modern banking system could easily collapse. The loss of a data centre could close a bank, destroy its records and render it unable to facilitate electronic payments. Not something that was a problem in the paper-based system of the past.
In addition, the increasing trend for banks to use cloud services could mean that cloud providers data centres would be particular targets. The destruction of a small number of large third-party data centres along with damage to fibre connections could shut down an entire banking system very quickly and damage it irrevocably.
In such a scenario Cryptos would surely be an option of choice for many. The decentralised nature of their records and operation would be a major strength. The ultimate option for savers and businesses unable to move money due to the loss of one or two data centre buildings.
Confidentiality becomes a matter of life and death
In addition to the above the ability to transfer money anonymously would also be a major plus. Imagine you need to transfer money for a purpose that could land you in serious trouble under a new authoritarian regime? Crypto would be the answer.
Imagine your allies abroad want to send you funds? Would there be a better option than Monero?
In a worst-case scenario, you may want to flee. You are at risk of having your valuables confiscated as you travel at best or just outright stolen.
You could send them on in advance, but you have no idea where you are going so where would you send them too? A digital wallet that can be accessed anywhere in the world and cannot be traced back to you seems like the perfect solution.
The recovery would be easier
In a post war situation there can be tens of thousands of refugees. Often these people have no bank accounts and no assets. They have nothing left.
How do you distribute money to all these people to help them buy the basics? Transferring large amounts of cash in a war zone can be dangerous so what better way to do it than use Cryptos?
Small denominations could be transferred easily to refugees distributed over a wide area without the need for them to congregate in large refugee camps. This would have a wide range of benefits for anyone who has seen footage of how bad these places can be.
Should a new government need to start a new currency, there is no longer the need to print millions of paper notes. A new currency, strictly limited in size and available nationally in an instant could be developed and distributed in less than a week.
Cryptocurrency has developed a bad reputation. But going forward we can have no idea what will happen in the world. Should the worse ever come to happen again in Western Europe, Cryptocurrency may come into its own with the benefits of it only then being fully appreciated.
Hopefully it does not take a tragedy like a major war for that to happen.