I came across this “history of payments” infographic, that I think is worth a few minutes of your time:
As I see it, this particular evolution of money (from paper money to virtual money) is something that we often miss today. Perhaps we assume that a bank balance is just a convenient way of holding cash notes (or something like that) – but the reality is that there is not enough physical cash to ever cash out of the banking system completely.
And (I guess) Bitcoin and the other thousands of cryptocurrencies are a real world response to the fact that it was almost impossible to remove yourself from the global banking system.
It’s just something to think about.
Rolling Alpha posts opinions on finance, economics, and sometimes things that are only loosely related. Follow me on Twitter @RollingAlpha, and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/rollingalpha. Also, check out the RA podcast on iTunes: The Story of Money.