Digital currencies have been one of the most necessary and desired developments of the modern age. Allowing both traders and general users a greater level of convenience than traditional methods, this economic facet has been a key driver of online business growth. Creating a connected world where online transactions open up new and efficient opportunities, online business has thrived under the contributions of digital finance.
Both South Africa and India offer strong illustrations of this, as seen with the performance of services like Amazon within their territories. Economic advantages here have come from the supply and demand side of this equation. Similarly, they both are poised for even more rapid adoption and expansion on this and many other digital fronts.
So how is the growth of these two components related, how do we know the public is interested, and what industries best illustrate these connections?
Growing interest from the Public
Public interest in digital currency has its initial stumbling blocks, as does any new technology, but over time the advantages have proven too pronounced to ignore. The key above all else in this regard for the common user is the undeniable advantage of convenience. Shopping in person holds an unkillable appeal for some, but for many others, this was simply an annoyance and unavoidable reality, up until the modern digital age.
Perhaps if physical shopping were just as simple as its online counterpart this could be different, but the complexities and annoyances here are numerous. Driving to the shopping centre, working your way between the crowds, not finding the item you were looking for and realising you’ve made the trip for nothing.
With online businesses, though, these issues are mitigated almost entirely. Christmas shopping can be done from the comfort of your bed, without the hassle, and often at a far lower price.
Similarly, more service-driven industries like online casinos have also flourished due to these advantages of access. Websites like Karamba Casino South Africa offer all the game choices of land-based casinos, such as slots, poker, and live games, but with a greater level of convenience. Given the ability to play from almost anywhere with an internet connection, whenever you want, the success of such systems was nothing short of inevitable.
Stock market indicators
One of the best measures we have for sectors of public interest is that of the stock market. While many businesses that deal with digital currency are privately owned, there are some, like PayPal, which are publicly traded. As one of the biggest and most successful in the game, currently worth more than $50 billion, the share price for PayPal has more than doubled in just a few years.
While the share price in June 2015 sat at $34.59, today the price reaches $85.41, marking a definite upward trend. When taking into account the success of some of the biggest online businesses, such as Amazon, one of the stores which best benefits from this currency, we note similar upward growth. That said, Amazon far outstrips PayPal, though it should be noted that the PayPal payment system is only one facet of Amazon’s accepted methods, so while this relationship is certainly connected, it is not directly so.
For reference – Amazon opened at $1.73 a share back in May of 1997, where it’s worth $1,591.91 today.
While Amazon deals predominately with physical goods, perhaps a better indicator would be between digital currency and digital-only offerings. In this case, there are no better representations of that than the gaming industry.
Video game storefronts like Steam have been enormous beneficiaries of the propagation of digital currencies, operating on what is sometimes a two-way street. On systems like these, games can be bought through a variety of means, while also offering a marketplace where some digital goods can be sold to other users. Team Fortress 2, for example, has a market surrounding in-game equipment. Here players can unlock items, then trade them to other players for real money or in-system credit.
The final stage of these components ties into official adoption of digital currencies by worldwide governments. News from the South African reserve bank has revealed they investigated the possibility of their own digital currency backed by the brand. Now experimenting with at least three different designs, they hope to have prototypes deployed by the end of 2019.
Related to this are recent developments regarding regulations made by the South African government towards cryptocurrency. This regulation is aimed to ensure cryptocurrencies are not classified as personal-use assets and are instead treated as a financial service for VAT purposes.
Potential future trajectory
As increasingly more businesses enter the digital domain, and newer developments like cryptocurrencies are slowly settling into a reliable method of payment, the future of digital payment is one of unquestionable growth.
Does this mean that we might face a future as a cashless society? Probably not, as total technological reliability is still a far cry from reality, but the decreasing importance of these traditional methods will undoubtedly shrink further. With drones and automatic delivery now moving from the realm of science fiction into daily reality, these elements could finally be uncovering the path set so long ago.
The future is one of online integration, and business and currency will play primary parts in this continued evolution.