Bitcoin was created during the Great Recession that started in 2008, when the governments of the world printed trillions of dollars to bail out banks and corporations. Satoshi Nakamoto intended Bitcoin to be a decentralized form of money that could not be printed by governments at will. In the the Genesis Block Satoshi included the message “The Times 03/Jan/2009 Chancellor on brink of the second bailout for banks.”
Fiat currencies continue to be the dominant form of global currency, but it seems logical that, if fiat currencies were to hyperinflate and collapse, Bitcoin would become the dominant global currency.
This is because Bitcoin can be sent instantly anywhere in the world and is cryptographically secure. It is easy enough to integrate Bitcoin into any e-commerce store or physical store, and the customers of the future will be able to send Bitcoin from their smartphones via QR codes. Therefore, if fiat currency becomes obsolete, Bitcoin could seamlessly take its place and keep the global economy running.
There has been plenty of hype that fiat currencies are collapsing, but this article will explore the current state of major fiat currencies in the world to ascertain the true situation. This is important information since the rate of fiat currency inflation by country is an important factor that will determine Bitcoin adoption rates and ultimately Bitcoin’s price.
United States’ Inflation Rate
The United States is perhaps the best place to start an analysis of global fiat inflation, since the USD is the world’s dominant fiat currency and perhaps the most stable long term. That being said, there is 2-3 percent annual inflation in the United States.
If we split the difference at a 2.5 percent annual inflation rate, it means $100,000 stored in a bank will lose a whopping $22,400 of value over the course of 10 years, corresponding to 22.4 percent inflation per 10 years. Therefore, even in the United States, saving money long term seems impractical, and this essentially forces people to risk their savings by investing in the hopes that the money earned from investing will outpace inflation.
It appears inflation will only worsen in the United States since the national debt is approaching $22 trillion, with a budget deficit of $1 trillion per year and growing. This situation will likely lead to increased money printing, which would increase the inflation rate. Therefore, saving money in USD long term does not make financial sense. Bitcoin is an alternative way to store money long term, although Bitcoin has yet to mature and can be extremely volatile from year to year.
Euro (EUR) Inflation Rate Is 37.5 percent Relative To USD During The Last 10 Years
One of the primary global currencies besides the USD is the Euro (EUR). For the rest of this global analysis, fiat currencies will be compared to the USD exchange rate to determine inflation, but it must be kept in mind that the USD itself is inflating at the rate of 2 to 3 percent per year.
When the EUR launched in 1999, the exchange rate was one USD per 0.85 EUR. By 2002 the EUR weakened to 1.16 EUR per USD. The EUR then entered a period of vigorous strengthening, and the exchange rate fell to 0.64 EUR per USD by 2008. The Great Recession caused the EUR to begin weakening versus the USD long term, and currently each USD is worth 0.88 EUR. This represents 37.5 percent inflation relative to the USD in roughly 10 years.
Back to the storing money in a bank analogy, $100,000 of EUR stored over the past 10 years would have lost the EUR inflation rate + the USD inflation rate. With this sort of inflation rate it seems dangerous to store money in EUR long term.
It gets worse. The EUR is one of the top global fiat currencies, and there are many currencies doing worse than the EUR.
United Kingdom’s Pound Has 65 Percent Inflation Relative to USD in 11 Years
The United Kingdom (UK) is one of nine European Union (EU) countries that does not use the EUR, and eventually, the UK will leave the EU via the Brexit. However, the native Great Britain Pound (GBP) has done far worse than the Euro, with the exchange rate going from 0.48 GBP per USD in 2007 to 0.79 GBP per USD currently. This is 65 percent inflation relative to the USD during the past 11 years.
Canada’s Inflation Rate Is 45.2 Percent Relative to USD During the Last 7 Years
The United States’ neighbor to the north is similar to the United States in many respects. It is a fully developed and industrialized first world country. However the native fiat currency, the Canadian Dollar (CAD), has been experiencing severe inflation since the Great Recession. In 2011 1 USD was worth 0.95 CAD, and now the exchange rate is 1.36 CAD per USD. This represents 43.2 percent inflation relative to the USD since 2011, and of course, the USD has an underlying inflation rate as well of 16.2 percent during the last 7 years.
Even in the first world country of Canada, it is becoming impossible to save cash…