Toronto Star's Saturday Debate: Should mainstream businesses use cryptocurrencies?

I wrote in the Toronto Star on Saturday, taking the Yes side. Also, an update on my book, to be released in the fall.

In China, everyone uses payment apps such as WeChat Pay and Alipay, which require local bank accounts. I don’t have one, and most retailers there don’t accept international credit cards. Whenever I’m there, I’m forced to use cash, a practice viewed by many Chinese to be as quaint as riding a horse.

I once couldn’t get change for a mere 100 yuan ($19), from an incredulous coffee-shop cashier, who looked as though she had never seen paper money in her life.

The point is that payment habits can change rapidly and beyond recognition. Now China is trying to start another revolution with its own digital currency. It’s not Bitcoin. It’s not even a real cryptocurrency, and to many adherents, it’s an abomination. But to the typical shopper or shop, there is little functional difference.

Should mainstream businesses use cryptocurrency? Yes. But it’s not so much a question of “should” — in some ways, depending on how you stretch the definitions, many already are, and one day, all are going to have to.

Continue reading at the Toronto Star.

Hello there, I wrote the above yesterday in the Toronto Star’s Saturday Debate, a weekly section in which two people argue opposing sides of an issue. This week, it is, “Should mainstream businesses use cryptocurrencies?” Lisa Kramer, a University of Toronto professor, argues the No side (same link).

New cover for ‘Once a Bitcoin Miner’

It’s been a while. In other news, I bring updates on my upcoming book. We have a new cover now. I absolutely love it. I liked previous cover and honestly did not think about how it could be improved. But the sales team at my publisher pushed for perfection, and well, this new one blew me away. The book will be released on Oct. 19, 2021, but can be pre-ordered now.

The promise and peril of China’s digital yuan

In other, other news, I would like to direct your attention back to my piece in the Toronto Star. Specifically, to that part in which I write that China is trying to start another revolution with its own digital currency. The Wall Street Journal piece in the link is, in my view, the best reporting yet on this subject and its implications. It is subscriber-only, but the paywall is easy to breach. For background, I recommend this Economist piece on the relationship between dollar-dominance and geopolitical power.

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