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What is the future of money?

REUTERS/Pawel Kopczynski

At the end of 2015, Thomson Reuters gathered some of the industry’s most creative thinkers for a lively discussion on The "Future of Money: Cashing Out on Cash". The debate was led by Rob Cox, editor of Thomson Reuters Breakingviews, and included Luan Cox, CEO of Crowdnetic; Nathaniel Popper, author of Digital Gold; Sam Shrauger, SVP of Visa’s Digital Solutions; and Mark Smith, CEO of Symbiont.

Cashing out on cash
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Covering questions about who will be issuing money and how we will move it; whether it will continue to be legal tender; and where the greatest innovations will come from, insights included:

  • While many of our transactions are now electronic through computers, debit cards and mobile phones, more than 60 percent of transactions are still done with cash – but those too will soon be “electronified.”
  • The digitization of money is inevitable because the cost of printing money and keeping up with counterfeiting makes it inefficient. Sweden says it won’t have paper money by 2030.
  • Bitcoin and blockchain offer enormous potential to explore. Smith explained, “The underlying technology and concepts are very, very good, and we’ll see what happens a decade from now as smart people are thinking about this in new ways."
  • Technology drives peer-to-peer lending and lending clubs, allowing buyers and sellers to find each other with ease. But Luan Cox says with the good comes some downside. “As these lending start-ups take off and marketing costs are high, there is often a lack of borrowers, which can lead to a tendency for lenders to lessen standards and increase risk.”
The Future of Money (1:53)

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