In an age of alternative payments, what is the future of traditional money?

Study by British firm predicts future use of coins and paper money
By , Special to Coin World
Published : 08/28/16
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A new report, just issued, should assuage the fear of collectors that with the rise of alternate payment technologies currency will soon be a thing of the past. 

A study from the British firm Smithers Pira, that calls itself a worldwide authority on the packaging, paper and print industry supply chains, says that the number of bank notes in circulation worldwide will grow at an annual rate of 5 percent from 2016 to 2026, and that there will be 943 billion bank notes, not to mention 179 billion coins, in use worldwide by the end of the 10-year period.

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Promotional material from the firm says the massive document studies the prospective cash situations in Brazil, Germany and Poland, and includes discussions such as the reasons Germans have a proclivity for using cash, the life cycles of currency, bitcoin, the benefits of paying in cash, and what it calls the “banknote-coin boundary.”

The full report, titled Fit for Circulation: The Future Lifecycles of Currency to 2026, is available from the firm for £4,200 or about $5,500. Go here for details.

About one form of alternative money

One of the most widely used virtual form of currency is Bitcoin, which allows individuals to exchange credits for goods and services. 

Bitcoin is an unregulated virtual currency that is not backed by any government and is exchanged only over the Internet, and there are just-as-unregulated physical bitcoins out there that collectors may (or may not) care to take note of. 

Physical bitcoins can be used as typical online bitcoins, but the virtual element is paired with a physical, struck coin.

While virtual currencies like Bitcoin have their supporters, some governments have warned about their use. The U.S. Congress has conducted a hearing on the topic, as Coin World reported here.

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