Either the US will lead on crypto, or China will

Even casual viewers of US cable news are familiar with ads that feature actor William Devane – usually golf or horse riding – motivating them to invest in precious metals. Financial educator Robert Kiyosaki, creator of the “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” book series, has recently joined Devane in this endeavor.

The prevalence of these ads should be no surprise. In these volatile times, the Donald Trump administration has spent big and printed money. (The United States is not alone in borrowing and printing its way out of the Covid-19 pandemic.) There is no reason to expect a different behavior under President-elect Joe Biden.

Not surprisingly, alternative stores of value are thriving. Days ago, the Bitcoin cryptocurrency reached another peak ever, just as it became clear that the Biden-Harris administration was a fait accompli.

But while Bitcoin is the best-known digital currency, only a small part of a technological shift could meet our demand for safer, cheaper and faster ways of doing business in times of crisis and disruption.

Bitcoin’s basic technology, blockchain – a type of secure, shared transaction ledger among networked computers – has applications ranging from supply chain management to securing international payments. It could be a “game changer for the global economy,” according to JPMorgan Chase.