Dollar Bills Could Carry COVID-19. Go Paperless with Cryptocurrencies
How many times did your mother yell at you not to put coins in your mouth when you were little? Of course, coins are a choking hazard. But they’re also covered in germs.
In fact, all money is. We don’t know who handled these pieces of paper and little metal coins before us. Maybe they’re healthy and have been washing their hands ... or maybe not. That dollar bill could have been dropped in the gutter for all you know.
The People’s Bank of China and the Bank of Korea are thinking about the cleanliness of paper money. And they are terrified that their currencies could contribute to the spread of the coronavirus.
China’s central bank has ordered all Chinese banks to isolate, disinfect and quarantine all paper currency for seven days before releasing them to the public.
The Bank of Korea is applying high heat ‘laundering’ process to its paper currency to kill any traces of the SARS-CoV-2 virus before releasing them for circulation.
The Federal Reserve is following suit. However, it’s going about the process very quietly so not to alarm the public.
The Fed is now disinfecting paper currency that it receives from Asia and quarantining it for up 10 days before allowing it to re-enter circulation.
The World Health Organization is jumping on the dirty money bandwagon, too, by advising people use contactless payment instead.
This push will be a boon to the new generation of contactless credit cards offered by Visa (V) and Mastercard (MA), as well as payment services like Square (SQ) and Apple (AAPL)’s Apple Pay.
These stocks have gotten hammered along with the rest of the stock market. But I have no doubt that they are BIG long-term winners. In fact, my Weiss Crypto Investor subscribers own two of them.
They were leading the trend to paperless transactions long before the coronavirus outbreak. Today, 75% of people with internet access use a fintech application, up from 18% in 2015. It’s a convenient way to pay for goods and services instantly, as well as allowing peer-to-peer transactions.
But even bigger contactless payment winners will be cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC, Rated “A-”). That’s because the distributed ledger technology (DLT) behind crypto assets adds the one thing other paperless payment systems lack: Privacy.
Lihui Li, the former president of the government-owned Bank of China, wants to speed up the release of the Chinese government-backed digital currency, which is designed to replace physical cash.
When government officials start screaming for cryptocurrencies, you should pay attention. It’s a sign that approval and popularity of crypto assets are improving. Sure, cryptocurrencies are volatile, but their use (and value) will steadily increase.
But be careful. As I said last week, you should take care to avoid government-backed digital currencies. Those aren’t real crypto assets. They are neither decentralized nor trustless, the two fundamental features of true cryptocurrencies.
To figure out which cryptocurrencies you should invest in, go to our Weiss Crypto Ratings website. We rate crypto assets based on several factors (explained here) and keep an updated list of our highest rated cryptocurrencies on the home page.
All this information is completely free! And free is a very good price.
I recommend balancing your portfolio by choosing a combination of stocks that incorporate cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology into their business model, as well as high-rated cryptocurrencies.