In the spring of 2020, it is imperative that we now live in a world with a bleak future. The impending transformation that was caused by the outbreak of the coronavirus accelerated the pace of technology adoption, and the economic sector was among the first to adopt it. The transition from cash-based culture to card payments has become more prominent in many conservative European countries, along with increased interest in cryptocurrencies, especially stable currencies. What would have required several more years of cryptocurrency has become urgent, as material money has become potential carriers for virus transmission, while new levels of fiscal stimulus have made inflationary concerns that make cryptocurrencies more attractive.
A new look at money
Cash may become close to a relic of the past. In the end, it can be considered not only outdated, but also a serious topic in the post-crisis world, where no one is sure when the COVID-19 pandemic will end and what to expect next. Social distance and external interactions are likely to remain in place for a long time, if not years, and things like drones, unmanned vehicles and robots are gaining more popularity and generating new interest.
Unlike the United States and Asia, which are positive about various new innovations and trends, Europe is known for its commitment to tradition and conservatism. But it is time to accept the change.
In Germany, which is traditionally a country that loves money, card payments have surpassed cash recently for the first time in history. It is believed that the main reason for this quick thinking is the excellent healthcare measures in the European Union and the rest of the world that are forcing people to reconsider their position on money. According to the German credit bureau, more than half of the payments currently made with the card are non-contact, compared to 35% before the crisis with the SK virus. Thus, although it seems that the cash in Germany will not disappear in the near future, especially when it comes to small quantities, the trend is already clear – and it is accelerating.
In addition, the cost of credit card payments in Germany has gradually increased over the past five years. For example, in 2013 payments were about 4.5 billion euros, but in 2018 it grew to 7.8 billion euros.
In addition, the millennial generation also contributed to the shift to non-contact digital payments, as the younger generation's confidence in new technologies, such as cryptocurrency, reached record levels.
From digital money to encryption
Given that the number of COVID-19 cases in Germany has already exceeded 170,000, the conservative area has given way to progress – and this is not the only country where this occurs. The impact of the epidemic on the world, and the authorities became increasingly interested in developing blockchain and cryptocurrencies to accelerate the creation of regulatory and digital solutions for the central bank.
By the end of 2019, the demand for cases in crypto had become clearer, and authorities began to change their views on crypto and blockchain technologies, realizing that this was not a target for those interested, but a potential technology to create a new enterprise system. A better financial system improves many operations.
Additionally, according to the law in force at the end of December 2019, digital asset managers are now required to obtain a license, which means that any company currently operating with encryption and targeting German customers must notify the German FCA or BaFin about their intention to obtain a license By April 1 and progress by November 1 2020.
The emergence of global initiatives
Meanwhile, China is at the forefront of this development thanks to the digital renminbi, and companies such as McDonald's, KFC and Starbucks are supposed to join the initiative.
Assets like Bitcoin (BTC) are already accepted in some countries – for example, Burger King is known as one of the first international fast food chains to accept it as a method of payment. According to reports, visitors were able to purchase crypto burger in 2016 at the Dutch branch of the fast food chain. Later, the German subsidiary Burger King began accepting bitcoins on its website and applying them to mobile.
Nowadays, more and more Europeans believe that digital currencies are here to stay. COVID-19 security measures not only lead us to science fiction imagination, but basic crypto technology and blockchain have real potential to destroy the economic landscape, reduce intermediaries, and provide a better basis for payments, acquisitions, and corporate settlements.
Meanwhile, Europe has already expressed interest in Stabecoins and CBDC, with Malta being a leader in European digital currencies, creating and developing this trend.