The current pandemic is far from over and the economic, political, and social ramifications of this crisis remain unclear. Indeed, the nature of the workplace people return to might well be radically different to what previously existed. During an online panel session, hosted by Cointelegraph’s Stephen Chase, fintech pioneers debated how the Coronavirus could act as a catalyst for change in people’s attitudes towards working, technology, and online payments. 

Given the 24/7 nature of cryptocurrencies, all the panelists had remote working policies in place prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, so the immediate disruption was minimal. When asked which sectors were most likely to benefit from the lockdown, online services for retail and entertainment were cited as obvious winners and likely to grow even after the quarantine ends. The panelists also agreed that the death of physical cash was likely to be accelerated by the pandemic. Contactless payments prevent the transmission of Coronavirus through potentially contaminated bank notes, forcing older generations into using alternative payment methods.

The surprising resilience of Bitcoin as an asset class when faced with the challenges of a collapsing economy compared to more established peers, including the S&P and oil, was also debated. Filipe Castro, co-founder of Blockchain payments platform, Utrust, emphasized that Bitcoin’s potential use case is evolving and being tested all the time. He and the other panelists agreed that, faced with increased Central Bank money printing, Bitcoin’s finite supply of coins will likely lead to a price rise in the long term.

When asked about the future and how digital currency technology can provide hope, Ian Kane, Co-Founder and COO of Ternio, said there was never a better time to take this technology and use it to solve real problems. Those companies that provide the best user experience will ultimately succeed in the long run. Ian did note, however, that he would like to see the U.S. follow Switzerland’s approach to taxation. He said:

“For something like a currency, where it's meant for small micropayments/tipping, you shouldn’t be paying 40% short term capital gains, it makes no sense. When the internet came out, if every time you clicked on a new web page, you had to pay a tax or some kind of toll to gain information, it wouldn’t make any sense. It kind of hinders the progress being made [in crypto]”

Robert Beadles, Co-Founder for Monarch also provided an upbeat assessment of digital currencies saying they were the future and could be applied to a wide variety of use cases, particularly in the charitable sector where questions related to transparency and accountability are a concern. Ultimately for crypto to succeed, it needs to provide tangible solutions to real problems. By educating more people about its potential, we can build the platforms of the future and ensure its long term place within the economy. The times we’re living in may seem dark, but the future for those who embrace tech has never been brighter.

Missed the panel? Check it out on Youtube here, or watch it below.