A cryptocurrency or crypto is a virtual currency secured by cryptography. It is designed to work as a medium of exchange, where individual ownership records are stored in a computerised database. The cryptocurrency works on blockchain technology and is free from control of government agencies.
Cryptocurrency is a new emerging technology which is revolutionizing the way people make monetary transactions. Crypto has affected global society in both positive and negative way as discussed below:
- Increasing usage of Cryptocurrency is economically integrating the global society. Currently, the world is divided in terms of different currencies. Crypto bypasses this division and is increasingly becoming a sought-after way of transacting.
- Cryptocurrencies take away the sovereign power of issuing currency. Thus, making economic policy ineffective and diluting the bond between citizen and government.
- The transactions in crypto are cheap and faster. Thus, it makes capital more mobile/volatile posing risk to macroeconomic stability and consequent social consequences.
- Cryptocurrency has emerged as a new asset class (alternative of gold). However, fluctuation in the value of cryptocurrency has made both kings and beggars.
- Crypto is used by terrorist organization, drug cartels to smuggle contrabands which negatively impacts society at large. Anonymity in cryptocurrency has potential to increase crime in society.
- With increasing acceptance of crypto, people who are digitally illiterate are being left behind. Thus, it can lead to a disproportionate rise in inequality.
Effect of Crypto on Indian Society
Crypto is still in a nascent phase in India, with a huge uncertainty about its future. As RBI initially banned crypto trading in 2018, which was reversed by the Supreme court later. The following are the effect of crypto on Indian society
- With the rise of cryptocurrency, a new crypto community has emerged – that includes amateur investors, professionals and jobs have come up in the society. Example: Multiple crypto-exchanges have come up.
- India is the largest receiver of remittances. However, the people lose money on conversion, processing charges, and switching to crypto will help people to get rid of these expenses.
- As an asset, cryptocurrency has offered huge returns in the past, so it has become a fad among Indian youth to invest in these volatile assets, overlooking the risk associated with it.
- India became victim to ransomware attacks like Wannacry etc. and the ransom was collected in crypto-> may promote culture of digital extortion.
To make use of the revolutionary potential of underlying technology behind the cryptocurrency, while avoiding its negative consequences, a proper regulatory framework is required.