Money: Where it’s coming from and where it’s going

New mechanisms for storing and transferring value are being introduced at a dizzying pace. An ever-widening array of options to earn and spend entirely in the digital world makes the cash-or-check world seem like a hazy memory. At our recent Strategic Growth Conference, Jana DeLancey, Mastercard’s Senior Vice President of Global Foresights, Insights and Analytics shared predictions and expectations about the effects of the new money and digital asset options. If you ever get a chance to read about Jana’s research, or better yet see her speak, you’ll see that she’s one of those people who can instantly make an entire room smarter. I’ve collected some of her ideas here, including advice for credit unions interested in adapting and growing.

Cryptocurrencies are not going away, but the adoption curve will twist.

Crypto creates options and competition not seen before on a global scale for transactions to be completed without traditional intermediaries such as banks or credit unions. Organizations and individuals alike will continue to find new ways to barter and pay with crypto. Jana expects that the unique proposition that crypto empowers consumers to feel like producers of the underlying currency will also continue to lift adoption. At the same time, she agrees that a reckoning day is coming for the high (and growing) power consumption some crypto requires. She says it’s estimated as exceeding the electricity needs of Argentina just to keep Bitcoin afloat. “Pretty soon the excitement of the younger generations will die down a little bit, and they’ll actually start hearing what people are saying about the energy conflict,” she said. “They might start making different choices, so that’s something we have to watch going forward.”


continue reading »