At a time when 90 percent of Americans have never owned bitcoin and nearly 70 percent say they have no plans to do so in the future, the thought of widespread adoption and usage of cryptocurrency seems to be a distant prospect for most people. Ternio CEO Daniel Gouldman, however, is not one of them.
“I would not be surprised if in five years, most money as we know it is basically cryptocurrency,” Gouldman said in a recent interview with PYMNTS.
He said if you took a cryptocurrency adoption graph and overlaid it with a chart of internet adoption in the mid-1990s, “it’s the same path. It’s an incredibly explosive adoption rate.”
While bitcoin might be the best-known and most widely held and traded cryptocurrency, Gouldman said it’s not going to be “the big transformational thing” that takes crypto to the mainstream and makes it easily spendable. Instead, he expects central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) — government-issued digital versions of traditional dollars, yuan, etc. — to take center stage.
“In my mind, most money [in the near future] will basically be cryptocurrency, because you’ve got these CBDCs — the central bank digital currencies,” he said. “Bitcoin is awesome. Everyone should have it. I love it. But it’s not a transformational thing that’s going to affect everyone’s lives on a day-to-day basis.”
What is going to be a game-changer — or life-changer, as the case may be — is when “money as software” allows people to store and control their own cash and not have to pay any fees to banks.
Gouldman said the timeframe for when that happens “is probably going to be when the Federal Reserve says, ‘okay,’” adding that he’s very bullish and confident that this is the future timeline.
The Fed Factor
Because the Fed will play such a pivotal role in leading the advance and maturation of cryptocurrency, Gouldman thinks the return of former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen as incoming U.S. Treasury secretary will further catalyze the evolution and spendability of digital currency.
“Janet Yellen supports blockchain as a technology. She’s very knowledgeable about it,” Gouldman said, noting that she’s also an economist from the Keynesian school of thinking who will aggressively support anti-deflationary measures for post-pandemic recovery.
“So it’s a two-fer,” Gouldman said – because bitcoin is a real asset that will serve as a hedge against inflation, but will also benefit from an improving economy.
“Yellen is going to be very, very good for the economy, and she’s going to be very, very good for anyone who owns bitcoin,” he predicted.
In the meantime, Gouldman is focusing on a string of near-term deals and innovations within the crypto space that he said mark its continued progress and journey toward mass spendability.
“Kudos to Visa for being a very proactive organization,” he said, citing the giant payment and credit card…
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