How cash could be infected with Coronavirus, and why Crypto is a Lifesaver?
2020 was expected to bring so many exciting events; the United States 2020 presidential elections, the Olympics, the continuous trade war between the US and China, Brexit, and several other prominent events. However, something else has grabbed all the attention so far this year; the Coronavirus outbreak.
What started in China has now become a global pandemic. The impact of the virus outbreak has affected several aspects of our lives, from the economy to sports, and many more. The advice from governments across the globe is geared towards curbing the spread of the virus.
The emergence of Coronavirus (COVID 19) has highlighted another critical need; to move from the use of cash to cryptocurrencies. Digital currencies have been identified as the future of money, but governments across the world are finding it hard to accept them. However, they might be forced to accept the use of digital currencies over cash because of some recent developments.
Cash May Spread Coronavirus
For the past few weeks, authorities around the world have been sensitizing people about the various ways they can contact COVID 19. People are advised to avoid public places, stay at a safe distance from those showing symptoms such as cough, and more.
However, another method of spreading the virus has been identified by the World Health Organization. According to WHO, using cash could spread Coronavirus. The organization stated that the virus could stick to the surface of cash for days and could be transmitted to people within that period. For this reason, people are advised to wash their hands before touching money so that they would avoid contracting the virus.
While this is a good solution, it is not a lasting solution. A large percentage of the world still depends on cash for daily transactions. This is because cash remains the most popular means to pay for goods and services in the country.
China had attempted to disinfect cash, but the disease continues to spread. Last month, Chinese banks were disinfecting cash before issuing it to the general public in an attempt to halt the spread of the virus. The banks were only allowed to issue new bills after sterilizing them. The circulating currencies returned to the bank were decontaminated and stored for up to two weeks before being returned to the market.
To curb the use of cash, the WHO has advised people instead to accept the transfer of funds rather than physical cash. The use of contactless technology to pay for goods and services is an excellent way to reduce the use of cash and curb the spread of the virus via this method.
While it is a good move, there are several challenges still plaguing the transfer of funds via the traditional financial institutions. In the first place, conventional financial institutions currently don’t cover all parts of the globe. Third world countries are still highly dependent on cash due to the small exposure to payment systems provided by banks and other financial institutions. Secondly, the transfer of funds, especially cross-border transactions, are costly when you use traditional financial institutions. Another issue is the time it takes to send funds when using some of these channels.
All these culminate to highlight the deficiencies of the traditional financial institutions in promoting the contactless transfer of funds on a large scale. The challenges are too enormous to be handled within a short period.
Cryptocurrencies To The Rescue
When the traditional financial system fails, cryptocurrencies will come to the rescue. Cryptocurrencies and blockchain networks have the perfect framework to handle the various challenges plaguing traditional finance. Cryptocurrencies don’t involve any physical cash, which means the chances of spreading COVID 19 through these currencies are virtually zero.
As a contactless technology, cross-border transactions and local transfer of funds via cryptocurrencies are faster, as seen with XRP and other cryptos. There are no restrictions when sending money to people within your country or in other regions. All the two parties need are wallet addresses, and the transaction would be completed within a few seconds or minutes.
While traditional financial payment systems struggle to provide adequate services to the underbanked and unbanked regions of the world, cryptocurrencies are already being used in most of these countries. Countries such as Venezuela, Argentina, Nigeria, and other similar areas have already turned to cryptocurrencies due to challenges such as increasing inflation and difficulty in accessing funds from outside the country. Thus, with cryptocurrencies, sending and receiving payment in all parts of the world is so much easier compared to the traditional financial system currently in place.
When it comes to transaction fees, cryptocurrencies are far cheaper than traditional money. You can send thousands of dollars via BTC for a fraction of a dollar. This is impossible when using the conventional monetary system, where they usually charge up to 2% or more per transaction. The good news is that Bitcoin isn’t the only cryptocurrency with such a low transaction fee. Virtually all cryptocurrencies have a meager transaction fee, which means that users across the world have various cryptos to choose from when sending funds.
In all aspects, cryptocurrencies have shown to be the best contactless technology to use for sending and receiving funds during this period. Digital currencies will, in fact, remain the best option even after the Coronavirus pandemic comes to an end. Cryptocurrency transactions as cheap, fast, secure, and borderless. There are absolutely no challenges currently related to the use of cryptocurrencies as payment methods.
Despite moves by governments such as disinfecting cash and washing hands before collecting them, the virus continues to spread. This implies that the best option, in this case, is to switch to contactless technology for daily transactions. At the moment, cryptocurrencies have all the necessary features to make it easier for people to switch to contactless money transfer. Cryptocurrency transactions are secure, fast, cheap, and borderless. There are no special requirements before accessing blockchain networks and using the cryptos to pay for goods and services. Thus, cryptocurrencies have become the lifesaver as the world continues to battle the COVID 19 pandemic.