How Crypto Impacts the Real World Today

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Aside from 38,000 cryptos, ATMs around the globe, and GPU shortage.  

The Scope 

Let’s step back from Bitcoin rallies, scams, and other daily FUD stuff around our newsfeeds. Yeah, crypto got a decent blow to the groin, but let’s look at a bigger picture, shall we? 

Crypto in offline — from cities to your wallets 

Half of the world agreed to test CBDCs for themselves. Eighty-eight countries across the globe tried to create their CBDC — that’s almost half of the whole world country count, which sits at 190. Finland announced the earliest attempt at digital money as early as 1993. Among fresh newcomers in 2022 are Jordan, Malaysia, Iraq, Nepal, Qatar, and even Saudi Arabia piled up with their idea and vision of coins.  

In 7 years, the number of countries trying some digital money grew from just 3 to 88 — an increase of what? 2,933%? And that’s just in 7 years? Under a lifespan of a single possum, governments went from “uh oh, what’s crypto” to pioneering CBDC so hard that others had to start making their coin to keep up with the pace. Also, El Salvador and the Central African Republic both accepted BTC as their legal tender as of 2022 — that’s, like, hardcore sci-fi stuff right there.  

And remember the Philippines? A single game, Axie Infinity, made the local population go nuts in an attempt to earn some money out of it — because that’s how bad their local jobs were. According to Sky Mavis, 875,000 users from the Philippines played the game simultaneously daily — a 35% cut from 2.5M daily active app users. 

Create a smaller version of the image that will fit the website’s width. On the left is the amount of countries adopting CBDC as of August 2015. On the right is the number of countries that adopted CBDC at some level as of August 2022. 

Cities started to form crypto-related regions. Let’s jump into a time machine and travel seven years back — crypto isn’t considered something important or of any value among cities. It’s more of a weird hipster thing that people don’t get yet. Now? London is home to CoinCorner, Miami installed 650 crypto ATMs and will sell parts of the city as NFTs, and Amsterdam has an entire Boulevard where merchants accept crypto. 

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Even more — Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia, has a 1.3M square meter mall where all shops accept Bitcoin and is now more known as “Bitcoin City.” Reportedly Zürich now hosts over 300 crypto-related companies’ HQs; unofficially, that number can go even higher. What about Canada, one of the world’s best places to live, according to some sources? They now host an in-house payment provider called NOWPayments, which allows merchants in Toronto and Canada to freely accept crypto as a legit payment for goods and services. 

But what about the local businesses? Around 328,000 merchants in 77 countries now accept crypto as payment, while others can use the help of almost 600 payment providers. It’s that easy now; hook your eCommerce, shop, payment hardware, or anything with a network to a crypto payment provider, and shebang — you now accept crypto for your wares. 

Crypto-banks that had been put on hold in January 2018 after the failure of a significant Visa card issuer are now flourishing: Wirex, Bitwala, MCO, TenX, and others are offering crypto-wallets linked to standard Visa or Mastercard bank cards, allowing anyone to spend their cryptos at any physical shops around the world, as they would with fiat money. 

Fun fact: Kodak intends to launch its crypto to ensure photographers are adequately paid. 

And also, have you ever heard of Visa-crypto-debit cards? That’s not a joke; seven crypto exchanges partnered with Visa to release debit cards and establish crypto-banks. Among them are Coinbase, Wirex, Swipe, Gemini, and SoFi. Binance, with its 100M user base, released a Visa debit crypto card. With crypto debit cards, holders can pay with crypto as they would with regular money. 

Just a quick reminder that Visa is the world’s second-biggest payment operator, founded in 1958, rivaled only by Mastercard. Oh, and also, it accounts for 54% of the global payments worldwide, that to say — half of the world uses Visa. Half of the world can now buy hot dogs for crypto straight away. 

Oh wait, we also have crypto-banks now. We had them before, but in August 2022, FED finally gave up and decided to try it, announcing they would curate this process. Previous nickname — neobanks, they are now rushing for the crypto-cards. It is to the point where Monobank, the most famous Ukrainian neobank, had developed a card for BTC even before we all heard of Ukraine. They just did it and sat there waiting for the government to finalize their decision on crypto, so they can start issuing physical cards.  

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Do you know you also can get a salary in crypto? Have you ever heard of Bitwage? Those guys hoarded 20 000 clients just by allowing them to pay salaries in crypto in full legal mode. Ohio allows paying taxes in crypto, and Indiana and New Hampshire. Wyoming, among others, stated that “crypto = money” in the legal field of the state on February 11, 2019.  

Crypto is on your Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram already

Hear this out. Seven years ago, Twitter was just a space for memes, fan fiction, 4chan poll raids, quarrels over politics, and home to legendary Wendy’s roasts. Nowadays, Elon launches a new tweet, and Doge skyrockets, or CEOs of another crypto-companies clash over each other. We also see dramas unveiled in real time — like with LUNA. Almost every crypto-related tool nowadays has a Twitter counterpart: WhaleAlert, ScamAlert, price trackers, coin trackers, community trackers, tracker’s trackers — you name it. Twitter has already launched a system that validates whether an NFT avatar is valid or just copy-pasted, becoming the world’s communication hub for the crypto space. 

What about Facebook? That place where grandmas can hit on your every friend or connect with relatives? They went entire Metaverse with the transition from Facebook to Meta — perhaps the most confusing name change in a decade. How about spending a bucketload of dollars to kickstart the Metaverse with all its meta-glory? Here we go — $2.8B just for the VR part of the Metaverse, made by Meta. Accounting for all the additional spending, that can quickly go upwards to $10B. And well, since Zuckerberg technically owns Instagram now, he also promised to add more support for NFT. Whether we like it or not — crypto helps to push hi-tech topics to a broader audience.

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If you ever wanted to have a quote about that, here you go: “Now, this college-made social network is the world’s pusher for Metaverse, described by William Gibson in the hairy 80’”. 

The topic of benefits of NFTs for social networks smells hairy, but here are the obvious ones — you can actually “own” that tweet of yours and any other type of content. With the direction the world takes now, it’s only a question of when we can use that as legal evidence. Oh, and on legality, did you know that smart contracts are fully legal in Belarus? 1 to 1 legitimacy ratio with regular documents. 

And what about Telegram? They developed a blockchain system from scratch back in 2018. Durov released a whitepaper where he shared a vision for a highly advanced messaging app. It was an insane system with zero censorship and fully anonymous freedom packed into your smartphone. Welp, SEC considered TON, and its TON COIN, a means to evade laws, so we don’t get that now. But recently, the community picked it up and started doing something; Durov even admitted he likes what he sees. 

What use for crypto should we see in the next decade? 

Save this list, so you can outline stuff and get yourself a crypto-bingo. 

  • Car leasing and sales use blockchain to streamline car leasing
  • Government and public records use blockchain to reduce paperwork and fraud while increasing accountability
  • Smart contracts get full legal power across the globe and thus allow to get rid of paperwork on a hardcore scale
  • Food companies start to label each product with its corresponding nickname in blockchain that tracks how fresh it is and how handled it
  • Money flow in the country becomes blockchainized and transparent, so its citizens can trace every penny from their wallet to the latest spending
  • Each government gets a fully transparent vote-tracking system with every record placed forever in a blockchain to be viewed by countless coming generations so that we can get rid of political hoaxes
  • We get at least one fully functional, operational, country-sized DAO

Lucky you, the reader, are because good times lie ahead of you.