To many people, cryptocurrency still sounds like a science fiction type of financial instrument.
However, in many areas of the world, where PayPal and hosted services transactions are still the order of the day, not many people are very familiar with the use of new cryptocurrencies and how they might be tied to a national currency, or with the blockchain ledger system that is being used to quickly modernize national financial systems around the world.
At the beginning of 2016, Tunisia made headlines for being the first nation in the world to officially install its national currency on the blockchain. What this means is that Tunisian currency transactions are kept in an immutable ledger record for full transparency and standardized use of Bitcoin.
It's extremely notable that Tunisia was not just the first country in its region, but one of the very first pioneering nations to try these new kinds of digital developments.
“We believe that mobile financial services are rapidly growing in the region, and Monetas software grants individuals economic freedom and prosperity through the use of a transaction platform that is magnitudes cheaper than any alternative, interoperable across mobile networks, and can process new financial tools,” Monetas CEO Johann Gevers said in a press statement posted on Futurism. Monetas is the company bringing the cryptocurrency functionality to Tunisia.
Tunisian officials contend these moves will add jobs to the economy and strengthen Tunisia’s financial outlook in other ways. Some experts agree.
“Blockchain is a foundational technology which means not only does it offer incredibly value in and of itself but it allows a lot to built on top or because of it,” Paul Armstrong, author of "Disruptive Technologies" and founder of HERE/FORTH, told Maghreb News Wire on Aug. 11. “Due to the security elements it uses (peer-to-peer network transactions, impenetrable ledger transactions), blockchain is being used in parts of the world where security, identity and ownership issues are being challenged.”
The myriad possibilities of this emerging platform, Armstrong said, are in many ways just beginning to be realized.
“From copyright to luxury-goods security, blockchain offers all who use it a robust system to track much more than financial transactions,” Armstrong said. “The future of blockchain is anything but certain because of the large list of potential uses -- I can see the technology being used to verify voting legitimacy, re-imagining copyright of internet assets, and increasing effective dispensing of restricted goods in the areas of health care.”