It says a lot about the power China wields in our global economy that the West has gone into mild panic at the prospect of China's growth slowing down. Whilst many countries in the EU are still fighting the reality of recession, the idea of growth, even if it's slowing, is but a mere pipedream.
Having worked in China for many years, I have first-hand experience of their industriousness and their hunger to be the best at whatever they do. Therefore I imagine this decline will only be temporary, even if the longer term consequences for the political establishment might be more permanent. Their enterprising spirit will I'm sure see them through. In fact our Oxfordshire based entrepreneurial skills company, LEO, has a huge user base in China with many small business owners seeking to expand their enterprises.
Indeed part of the reason we founded LEOcoin last year, a new digital currency, is because I was so inspired by Chinese entrepreneurs and their drive to trade. It seemed to me, and still does, that there were millions of businesses calling out for tradable liquidity that wasn't subject to the whims of government or a central bank.
Digital currency offers an opportunity for instant international, secure, private trading outside of punitive international charges and regulation. As an economy stagnates there is nothing more important to a business than the ability to keep trading, that's how you keep an economy moving.
Could digital cash help a business during an economic slowdown/recession, could that in itself help shorten the downturn by keeping the economy moving? Perhaps not such an outlandish idea.
Digital currencies like ours and Bitcoin, for example, are already seeing an increase in trades in light of the falling Yuan, as I discussed in my last piece, Greece has seen similar activity. Where the traditional banking system in Greece failed, individuals turned to Bitcoin to escape the restrictions that came from capital controls. In China Bitcoin has suffered from bad press (and the government continues to try to restrict its use), but this has not hampered widespread adoption of the currency; mining and exchange of Bitcoin continues to happen on an immense scale within the country.
So is it feasible to think that Bitcoin could provide a viable alternative to fiat currency in times of financial crisis? Could digital currency be a vital key to unlock growth for businesses, an avenue for them to keep trading with other businesses both at home and abroad as the state crumbles around them? The fact that a digital currency, like LEOcoin, is 'stateless' could be the key factor allowing a business to keep trading without the need to interact with government or a bank even - perhaps this is why we have so many users in China?
People are looking to currencies whose value lies with the community who use it, rather than a nation state; that is perhaps the true vision of globalisation.
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