Nigel Farage, the leader of the UK’s Brexit Party, recently emphasized that citizens should understand and “get your minds around crypto.” During a recent interview, he confessed that his personal knowledge and involvement with digital currency has been very limited, but that it is “crucially important” to begin understanding it. He mentioned that he is aiming to have 3-5% of his savings in crypto in the event that it “goes big.”
Farage continued, “From the poorest to the richest in the land, one of the conversations that are going on is about cryptocurrency. The reason is all too obvious: it’s that governments are, through this pandemic, creating vast amounts of funny money, debasing currencies, and people are scared about what this means for their money, their investments.”
He also expressed concerns about the volatility and anonymity aspects of crypto that are also important considerations. The discussion also involved new ways of thinking about digital currencies’ volatility. The interviewer suggested to Farage that viewing crypto as a unique stand-alone market is helpful in properly evaluating risks, instead of comparing fluctuations to typical fiat currency market changes.
It is promising to hear crypto-positive comments such as these from a prominent political leader. Farage led a movement to successfully remove the UK from the EU in what is commonly referred to as Brexit, so his words carry weight, even though he remains a controversial figure among many. While it is hard to gauge how much of an impact his comments will have, it is a move in the right direction during these challenging times.
The pandemic has reduced the use of physical cash globally as people have shopped from home in exponentially higher numbers. This rapid shift in buying behavior has led to new thinking about ecommerce and digital finance. With increasing numbers of household names in business leading new crypto and blockchain initiatives recently, the accelerated growth of crypto this past year is opening new frontiers.
Just as any new, popular topic leads to differences of opinions across the political spectrum, so too digital currency has seen varying extremes in terms of varied opinions and approaches. On one extreme, there are government officials who seek to control and regulate crypto as though it is a harmful drug that must not be easily accessible to the masses. And on the other side, there are open-minded advocates of personal freedom and abundance who are encouraging the public to learn about crypto as a step toward mass adoption.
In some ways, this dynamic is reminiscent of previous technological shifts in the banking sector. When ATMs were initially developed, there were many people who were hesitant at first about using them and instead preferred to wait in line for a bank teller. Similarly, when online banking was first launched, there were many who were nervous about their bank accounts being hacked if they accessed their accounts online.
Over time, there was gradual widespread acceptance of these technologies. Encouraging voices from respected leaders was an important part of easing people’s fears and helped educate the masses about the benefits that outweighed the risks.
It is encouraging that political leaders like Nigel Farage are courageously speaking out in positive ways about crypto and we anticipate more vocal support will follow soon.