Some friends and media reports still confusing Cryptocurrencies with more popular electronic money (e-money) schemes used in many low-income countries like Mpesa in Kenya to reach the unbanked. Strong difference separate those digital money and should not be conflated.
Cryptocurrency differs from fiat currency (e-money):
1. It is decentralized.
Cryptocurrency is based on a decentralized, peer-to-peer network there is no middlemen or a central clearing house.
No single institution controls by cryptocurrency network like a central bank does with fiat currency. By example every machine that mines Bitcoins and processes transactions makes up a part of the network.
2. It is not inflationary.
Unlike fiat currency, which can be printed to create more supply, cryptocurrency is designed to have a maximum number of coins. By example with Bitcoin only 21 million will ever be created according to a predetermined algorithm. The last Bitcoin will be mined in 2140
3. It is anonymous, sort of.
Users can hold multiple public addresses (Bitcoin,Ethereum), but they are not linked to names, physical addresses, or other identifying information.
4. It is transparent.
Although Bitcoin transactions are somewhat anonymous, they are also transparent. Bitcoins are really only records of Bitcoin transactions between different addresses making up the block chain. Everyone on the network can see how many Bitcoins are stored at each public Bitcoin address, but they cannot easily identify to
whom the address belongs.
5. It is irrevocable.
There is no way to chargeback a Bitcoin transaction unless the recipient actually sends the coins back to the sender, i experiment it badly ,1 years I redeem a transaction with this **** BTC-E site and they redeem my Bitcoin to someone else 40 BTC just gone! i succeed to recover the beneficiary e-mail but he never answered me so impossible to recover my BTC.
Cryptocurrency versus E-Money
E-money is commonly defined as value stored electronically, issued on receipt of funds of an amount not less in value than the monetary value issued, and accepted as a means of payment by parties other than the issuer.
In e-money schemes, the link between e-money and fiat currency against which it is issued remains intact, as funds are expressed in units of that currency (U.S. dollar [USD], Euro [EUR],Kenyan shilling [KES], etc…).
In virtual currency schemes, by contrast, the unit of account has no physical fiat currency counterpart
However aside from being digital in format, there are few similarities between cryptocurrency and e-money. E-money, like many other digital forms of fiat currency, such as credit and debit cards, PayPal, and wire transfers, is simply one mechanism by which to interact with.
The abstract nature of Bitcoin poses a challenge to regulators. Like any form of monetary value, including cash, e-money, and credit cards, cryptocurrency can be used for both legitimate and illicit purposes. The question is whether cryptocurrency makes it easier for criminals to funnel money for illicit purposes, and how regulators should respond to these perceived or real risks. As far as I know this argument is irrelevant! Today 95% of criminals act still operate with fiat money like USD and EUR.
The previous statement concerning Cryptocurrency concerning the fact that it is still a long way off from reaching the unbanked can be turn down today.
2 years ago only the financially included can access the Bitcoin system through the necessary digital connections to the Internet.
But the technology is improving and many Cell phone company (most of them are Chinese) start to propose smart phone at a very accessible price for those unbanked or underbanked populations (around 50$ in Kenya).That will inexorably impact mainstream populations around the world, and especially those at the base of the pyramid.
Cryptocurrency’s peer-to-peer architecture,low barriers to entry and affordable price allowing the purchase of smart phone are leading a new generation of innovative financial services, in much the same way as the Internet’s open architecture led to new online services .
Cryptocurrency provides a much cheaper and quicker payment system than what is currently available, especially for international transfers (money remittances).
We talk about 500 million USD per month in Kenya with e-money, I experiment it by myself and the fees structure still expensive compare to the average salary !Cryptocurrency can empower[U1] financial access to unbanked and underbanked by eliminate intermediate Mobile’s companies like Vodafone, Safaricom, Airtel ,MTN etc…
And to conclude don’t confound Cryptocurrency and E-money both are digital but very different.