The market size of cryptocurrency, as of June 2021, pegs at USD 1.57 trillion. As of April 2021, more than 10,000 cryptocurrencies existed in the market. The increase in popularity has led to the recognition of the currency by many Nations.
JP Morgan Chase, a leading US bank, became one of the first to launch its crypto in 2020 as JPM Coins.
Timebanks operate in more than 34 countries, with 500+ time banks currently operating across the US, Europe, and Australia.
What Is Cryptocurrency?
A cryptocurrency is digital or virtual money in the form of tokens or coins. The word ‘Crypto’ refers to cryptography, which forms the basis of its creation.
It uses blockchain and works on a decentralized system that enables a transparent and distributed ledger.
Tokens or coins in exchange for goods and services are prevalent online. Most of the cryptocurrencies are free from government controls and regulations.
Bitcoin, developed almost a decade ago, is the most popular cryptocurrency. Bitcoins constitute about 55-65% of the market, based on market capitalization. All other cryptos developed after Bitcoin are Altcoins.
Rise Of Cryptocurrency
The popularity of Bitcoin among users has led to individual companies launching their crypto. Their websites sell goods and services in exchange for these crypto coins, which one can buy using money.
The Altcoins or the shitcoins promote themselves as the improved versions of Bitcoins. But, they are yet to match the level of security the Bitcoin websites provide.
Altcoins that are popular and command traction among investors include Ethereum and Ripple. The popularity of cryptocurrencies is because of the growth of venture capital investments soaring the prices. Ethereum is the second most valuable cryptocurrency and acts as a decentralized network platform. Ripple came into existence intending to replace SWIFT payment transfer systems.
Jp Morgan Chase has a dedicated blockchain unit called Onyx to help instant payments. Standard Chartered Bank will launch a UK-based cryptocurrency exchange for institutional investors. A tweet by Tesla founder Elon Musk stating that the automaker will allow Bitcoin transactions has led to Bitcoin soaring by 9.8%.
Most of the cryptocurrencies are intangible, barring a select few which have ventured into credit cards. They have come under fire because of not being under the govt scanner and attract a lot of criticism by the financial pundits.
With the rise in the number of transactions, cryptocurrencies now have a pool that includes scammers. The cases of cryptocurrency scams are on the rise. Sorting help from professionals with domain knowledge can be very helpful. Victims can seek help from companies like PayBack LTD for cryptocurrency scam recovery.
TimeBank – A Value Creator For Community
The term TimeBank was coined and trademarked by Edgar Cahn in the 1980s. Cahn is a law professor and social justice advocate by profession. He conceived it to abridge the gap between social welfare program spending, and on-ground public social services.
Timebank works on the principle of adding credits for every social welfare job done. It helps in community building through a barter system, where one can use the credits to avail of the services on offer in the area.
Timebanks determine the credits for a particular job based on the national average wage rate. Timebank uses the Time Dollar as the currency, which means one hour. It is tax exempted, and Banks use it to provide mutual credit in Time banking.
TimeBanks USA is a leading organization in shaping the concept and propelling it beyond the borders of the US. The Brazilian government has been experimenting with Conditional Cash Transfers or CCT. In this, the money is only credited to the beneficiary account once they complete a specified amount of social work.
Scope for New Startups
The cryptocurrency and time bank, both started as a tool for bartering, is gaining popularity. The increasing reach and usage are motivating the investors to pump in money in these new-age currencies.
With big banks and other financial institutions investing in cryptocurrencies, it will be a space to watch out for in the future. Also, Timebank being a currency that has a social angle attached is attracting a lot of investment.
Ying, a time banking startup started by Karla Ballard, has launched their mobile app. The users can earn and spend credits on goods and services. It is thrusting the concept of sharing economy to the next level.
A person looking to invest in a growth story can not afford to ignore any of the two.