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Could digital currencies replace cash?

Opened wallet with notes and coins spilling out
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Jan 27, 2023 By WGSN Insider
Updates from WGSN

Will there be cash in the future? Will cars be able to pay for gas? What happened with crypto? Get the answers from Scarlett Sieber, chief operating officer of Money 20/20.

Trust in cryptocurrency may not be at an all-time high, but digital currency is far from dead. So too is cash, whose consumption has increased in multiple states of the post-pandemic US. What are the drivers behind consumer uptake of cryptocurrency and the forces preventing cash from becoming globally obsolete?

WGSN’s CEO Carla Buzasi speaks to Scarlett Sieber, chief operating officer of Money 20/20, to explore the future of the financial services industry, covering topics such as fintech, the value of cash, the case for cryptocurrency and more.

Black and white photo of Scarlett Sieber
Scarlett Sieber

Cash is still king

“People like the tactile nature of cash. You can see it, you can hold it, and that is crucial compared to digital money, which is ethereal. This rings true for a variety of people, but those from the lower socioeconomic demographics tend to value cash. In different states within the US, cash consumption has actually gone up, which is crazy even post-Covid-19. Do I think it will ever become globally obsolete? Maybe, but we’re a long way from that.”

Close-up of hands counting money
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Crisis breeds innovation

“When things get tougher from a macroeconomic perspective, that’s when true innovation comes out. And the other part that’s interesting is the type of companies that are born are solving real pain points and problems. So when you’re getting towards recession, then the solutions that you need to find and think about are the ones that are going to genuinely change people’s lives for the better.”

A person making payment using smartphone
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The case for cryptocurrency

“Is crypto over? Absolutely not. For me, it’s more about the underlying technology and blockchain that’s hopefully starting to bring more transparency to this world and alleviate some challenges we’ve had in the past. It’s the idea of what blockchain can do for creators, owning the IP and having this ledger that shows you own this from beginning to end that’s really powerful.”
– Scarlett Sieber, chief operating officer, Money 20/20

Head to Apple or Spotify to hear the full discussion on our Lives of Tomorrow podcast episode, What’s in your wallet (of tomorrow)?

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