Crypto has many problems of its own making. Bad user experiences, unsustainable transaction fees, an inability to assess risks in the face of unyielding innovation. But until this year, I doubt anyone would have suggested that an interdependence on the U.S. dollar was one of them.
The introduction of easily tradable, even decentralized, stablecoins has been a godsend for millions of ordinary people. They can now hedge against the constant fluctuations in price of ETH and BTC. And price stability means global commerce need no longer be obviously deterred in integrating programmable money into their digital operations.
And yet, the land of the dollar is in trouble. The full economic repercussions of shutting down an economy for many months are yet to reach its apex. Debt is being monetized on a huge scale. There are huge wealth divides between generations, races and cities.
Cultural and political divides run equally as deep. The U.S. population is so attitudinally polarized that even mask wearing is party-political. And at the top, the country is led by administration intent on stoking more division and taking sides. U.S. politics is so broken, it is not beyond comprehension that full blown civil strife could break out. In fact, it is something that U.S. journalists and generals have openly contemplated in trepidation of the possibility.
Shiv Malik is the author of two books, the co-founder of the Intergenerational Foundation think tank and a former investigative journalist for the Guardian. He currently evangelizes about a new decentralized data economy for the open source project Streamr.
And if America is so precariously balanced between further prosperity and potential disaster, so too rests the fate of the U.S. dollar for the rest of the world. Just the issue of U.S. Treasury debt issuance alone has had professional money managers warning this month that the U.S.’s reserve currency status is under threat.
Traditional markets have mature financial products…