"The economics of the future are different”
Jean Luc Picard
He adds that money doesn't exist in the 24th century. However, we also know that Dr McCoy used the Federation Credit to pay for passage on one star ship. The economics of Star Trek seem remote and, of course, it's fiction.
This week El Salvador decided to make Bitcoin an official currency. El Salvador also uses the US Dollar. Countries are moving away from cash and going digital. China has introduced a digital national currency. Android has Google Pay. Apple has Apple Pay and, in the USA, Apple cash using their own branded credit card.
The disconnect between physical money and the transfer of a digital asset is moving faster by the week. Most of the west has been using paper money as a form of currency for hundreds of years. Replacing the practice of using metals such as gold and silver. Paper money needed to have some link back to gold and silver for a long time to be considered equivalent. As we move to digital money the same question of trust exists. Trust in the form of acceptability and also trust in the form of banks and Government having a record of every transaction.
Financial inclusion for people could be being their own bank. Having a digital wallet on their smart phone accessed by biometrics where they don't need a bank. Financial exclusion may mean not having access to a smart phone or some kind of digital cash card.
In Star Trek the Federation Credit could be used everywhere and was trusted. Money in a few years could be an app managing "digital assets".
Many countries already have poor performing national currencies. Eight countries use the US dollar. Money is not just value in itself but also reflects geopolitical power. With billions of people lacking a traditional bank account but with access to a phone then El Salvador maybe leading the way by increasing economic activity outside the banks or the dollar.
Its a small step but the economics of the future might be very different.