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How are cryptocurrencies changing the world right now?

Now more than ever, cryptocurrencies are a hot topic. Their Himalayan swings in price (a Bitcoin cost $63,729.50 in April 2021, but had plunged to 29,789.90 by July), promotion by billionaires, and constant attacks by the political and economic establishments have all served to drum up the hype every further. But apart from clogging up news feeds around the world and providing Twitter users with something to shout about, how are cryptocurrencies changing the world right now?

Diversifying portfolios

Where once stock portfolios would be directed at stocks, shares, index funds and bonds, today, many are adding cryptocurrencies to their accounts. Trading online via platforms like MetaTrader 4 is easier than ever – Reuters reported that crypto transfers in Africa reached$316 million in June 2020.

Offering secure financial transactions

While fiat currency-based transaction services are fine and well, for the most part, the decentralized record inherent to cryptocurrency’s blockchain technology does offer a degree more security when it comes to transferring money from A to B.

Each user must also use their private key to access their crypto wallet and send funds, making it very difficult for nefarious actors to commit fraud on individuals sending remittances back home to their families.A 2020 Luno survey found that 54% of Africans wished to adopt a single global digital currency, compared to 41% of people in Asia and 35% of Europeans, and security is partly why.

Improving supply chains

The blockchain technology that underpins cryptocurrencies is being used to verify steps in supply chains. Combined with Internet of Things technology, this allows users to check who participants within supply chains are – something that is very difficult to do conventionally when the actors within the chain aren’t well known to the business, or there are many different steps that need to be completed.

IBM, Schneider Electric and Oracle are three huge companies that are currently investing heavily in this cryptocurrency application.

Quicker financial transfers

When you purchase something with cryptocurrency, the transaction happens almost instantly. That’s a far cry from traditional payment processing businesses that take days to move money, which can be a huge benefit for businesses that need access to their funds immediately or simply want to improve their cash flow.

In Africa, where retain-sized crypto transfers (those worth less than $10,000) make up a larger share of crypto activity than any other region on the globe, this is a big benefit.

Enabling better cross-border transactions

In many parts of the world, especially areas that are developing, it can be difficult or expensive to convert local currencies into others due to a lack of basic banking capacity and high interest rates.

By using a cryptocurrency, people in these countries can skip out the middleman, getting products and services that would otherwise be expensive to access or off limits entirely.

Better transparency

Blockchain digital legers cannot be altered by bad actors, and a record of every transaction is tracked and publicly available. This means more transparency and less corruption and fraud; a benefit for companies that operate across borders with businesses or governments they might be unfamiliar with.

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