Global Money

Global Money
Photo by Christine Roy / Unsplash
"Bitcoin is global money."

I would bet you have run across this claim before.  On the surface, it may seem like what this means is obvious.  You can bring it anywhere and spend it with anyone accepting it.  While this is true and undoubtedly important, the idea of bitcoin being global money goes far beyond the ability to transport and transact.  As global money, bitcoin provides value to individuals and businesses through more than simply appreciating (not guaranteed, but historically true).

Global Customer Base

As a business, one of the most significant things that accepting bitcoin can do is allow you to take advantage of a global customer base.  It is important for businesses today to be able to provide as many of the eight billion people in the world with their goods or services.  Even with the Internet, most businesses get the vast majority of their customers from the country of their origin.  There are many reasons for this, not the least of which is currency value differences and the fact that billions of people do not have access to digital payment infrastructure.

As more and more people use bitcoin, accessibility to the global economy comes within reach.  For example, someone in a country without access to traditional banks could not make purchases online.  With bitcoin, however, they do not need banking infrastructure to give them this ability.  This dramatically expands the potential customer base of businesses worldwide without the need for billions of dollars in private and public banking systems.  An estimated 1.4 billion people are unbanked, mostly coming from developing or underdeveloped countries.

Perhaps more importantly, bitcoin makes it easier for these people to purchase goods and services from developing countries, expanding this quality of life while connecting them to the global economy.  By accepting bitcoin as payment, people from anywhere in the world can offer services to those in wealthy countries and benefit from their success.

No Currency Exchange

Fiat currency often requires exchanging one currency for another when traveling, investing, or even sending money to loved ones.  Every time one currency is exchanged for another, the bank or other service will charge a fee for the service.  This adds up to billions of dollars in fees each year.  In regards to remittance payments, we did the math for Latin America.  Read more here: Latin America, Bitcoin, and The Remittance Market. Who is next?

When using bitcoin, there is no need to exchange currency or pay remittance fees.  As long as all the parties involved in any transaction are willing to accept bitcoin (which is becoming more common every day), there is no need to go through the hassle and expense of currency exchange or get robbed by the remittance cartel.  This is making it cheaper and more convenient for people to use money how they want to, no matter where they are or where they are going.

Even for those who want to continue to use a local fiat currency, bitcoin makes it far cheaper and faster to exchange money globally.  It is possible to do this without paying a third party (see LocalBitcoins or Paxful).  Individuals can purchase bitcoin in their own local currency, then send it anywhere in the world.  Once received, they can exchange the bitcoin for their own local currency.  This process could easily be done in a couple of hours.  In the end, funds would be fully settled.  No bank in the world could do that.

No Manipulative Monetary Policies

When discussing global finance, inflation and hyperinflation often come up.  This happens when government monetary policies create excessive amounts of currency, devaluing the currency and forcing prices to readjust to maintain purchasing power.  Many believe that bitcoin is a hedge against inflation. As of now, this is true in the long term (10+ years), and it's sporadically true in the short term.  20 shares of Amazon stock from 1999 are also an inflation hedge.  The search for a perfect inflation hedge is like searching for the fountain of youth.  It might be real, but searching for it isn't a good use of time.


The issuance of new bitcoin into the market is fixed.  We know the inflation rate for this year, next year, and the next 100 years.  This certainty provides value given the alternative is guaranteed devaluation.

This has never been a possibility in the past, so many leaders were less worried about devaluing their currency.  With bitcoin serving as global money, central bankers will hopefully make wiser financial decisions on behalf of their citizens.  If a country does experience hyperinflation, the citizens will have a way to navigate the financial environment using bitcoin.  This has been done on a relatively small scale already in Venezuela already, and as bitcoin adoption expands, it will become only more popular in the future.

Unbiased Global Reserve Currency

The global reserve currency is usually the next topic when discussing or thinking about global money.  The US Dollar is the global reserve currency and has been for generations.  Unfortunately, nobody can say that the United States has not used the fact that its currency serves in these roles to its advantage.

"It costs only a few cents for the Bureau of Engraving and Printing to produce a $100 bill, but other countries had to pony up $100 of actual goods in order to obtain one"
- Barry Eichengreen [1]

Political allies and adversaries will likely agree that there would be advantages to transitioning away from the US Dollar, but that's easier said than done.  Moving away from the dollar to another nation’s currency will still result in the same unilateral control problem.

While this is the furthest away from the current day, many see bitcoin serving as both the global reserve currency and the global money.  Since no country, company, or individual controls bitcoin, no entity would have a significant financial advantage over everyone else in the ways we see today with fiat currencies.  This would, in theory, significantly level the playing field of all countries to compete fairly in a global economy.

Other than gold, which is far more difficult to transport and hold, there has never been an opportunity for global money that can serve these roles.  And even with gold, the countries with lots of gold mines would have some advantages.  For this reason, the possibility of using bitcoin as the global reserve currency and global money makes sense to a growing number of global individuals.

Are You Taking Advantage of Bitcoin as Global Money?

While it can certainly be exciting, or at least entertaining, to look at some ways that bitcoin may significantly impact global finance, it is much more practical to look at how it can impact you personally.  As a business owner or individual, using bitcoin for which it was built (near-instant transactions without the need for a trusted third party, settling in 30 minutes) will provide the most benefit.  The most important thing you can do to prepare for the future, and hasten the global use of this unique form of money is to get involved on the smallest scale applicable to you.

[1] Exorbitant Privilege: The Rise and Fall of the Dollar and the Future of the International Monetary System /