Fiat vs Crypto: Is it a fair comparison?

Zebpay
5 min readNov 26, 2023

What is crypto?

Cryptos are decentralized assets that can be transferred on a peer-to-peer basis without the need for a central authority. Cryptos are based on blockchain technology, a distributed ledger system. A blockchain is maintained by a network of computers that record an accurate copy of the database and update its record through consensus mechanisms. Bitcoin, Solana, Ethereum, and Ripple are some of the most popular cryptos in the market today. Most countries today have crypto users, with many governments coming together to frame regulations for the crypto ecosystem.

Cryptos are managed by a peer-to-peer network of open-source computers. Launched in 2009, Bitcoin was the first decentralized crypto coin to capture public attention. Cryptos were first developed to be an alternative mode of online payment.

What is fiat money?

Fiat money can take a physical form or can be in a digital form. The government controls the supply of fiat currencies, and people pay taxes with them. Fiat money includes coins, digital currencies issued by governments and paper currencies. Fiat currencies are used as a means of trade to purchase goods or services and are a store of value. Central banks play a vital role as they regulate the printing of fiat currencies. The monetary value of fiat currencies is based on consumer demand and supply. Some major fiat currencies include the US dollar, the rupee, the pound, the yen, and the Euro.

Fiat vs. Crypto

Advantages of Fiat

  • Fiat currencies are more stable than crypto coins. The value of major fiat currencies, such as the US dollar, does not fluctuate much compared to the volatile price swings of crypto.
  • Fiat currencies are widely used to pay for goods and services, and most businesses accept fiat money. Only a few companies accept crypto.

Crypto advantages

  • Investing in cryptos can be profitable, as their value can increase. In comparison, fiat money does not have similar growth potential.
  • Many crypto transactions can be processed in less than a minute and cost less than $0.01.
  • Crypto coins can be sent anywhere in the world without intermediaries.
  • Businesses that accept crypto payments do not need to worry about chargebacks, as most cryptos have irreversible transactions.

Fiat money disadvantages

  • Cross-border fiat transactions can be inefficient, and transfers can take days and be expensive.
  • Some countries do not have stable fiat currency or quality banking systems. Cryptos are borderless, and countries that lack good financial services are adopting crypto.
  • Businesses and merchants work with payment processors that charge transaction fees to accept fiat payments.

Crypto disadvantages

  • Cryptos are volatile, and even large crypto coins can vary in value quickly.
  • Crypto does not offer protection if you lose your crypto by sending it to the wrong address or if you lose access to your crypto wallet keys.

What happens if crypto replaces fiat?

Crypto coins can transcend regulations and borders, which can be a good and bad feature. Unlike fiat money, crypto is not controlled by a centralized entity. Central banks can influence inflation and employment through interest rates and other market operations. The decentralized nature of cryptos means it is not controlled or influenced by an individual or central group.

Replacing fiat money is not on the cards right now. Cryptos are considered to be another store of value and not a replacement for fiat currencies. However, some countries which are facing a severe economic crisis and loss in value of their currencies are exploring solutions through crypto.

Will crypto ever be as stable as fiat money?

Crypto is still volatile; however, there is a type of crypto coin known as stablecoins. These crypto coins are pegged to the value of an underlying asset like the US dollar or gold, making them more stable than most crypto.

Is fiat better than crypto?

The value of fiat currencies is more stable than that of crypto coins. Crypto is still in its nascent stage and might turn out to be as stable as fiat currencies with increased participation and institutional adoption. Both fiat money and crypto have advantages and drawbacks, but crypto adoption continues to grow rapidly. Crypto is decentralized and cannot be copied, whereas fiat currencies are regulated but stable. Thus, it is hard to decide which is better.

Conclusion

It is not easy to pick a winner between fiat currencies and crypto. Users have to consider a few things, such as use cases, regulations, and their tolerance for volatility, to decide which type of asset they prefer. But crypto has shaken up the financial market and started a new wave of investments. Fiat currencies are still the preferred choice to pay for goods and services and are not going anywhere. Crypto has many use cases and continues to experience rapid growth. Fiat money will remain dominant and is a far more secure option for buying and selling things. Crypto is slowly becoming popular and has proven to be a useful alternative as an investment tool. Users need to do their due diligence before using crypto, but it is good to be informed about crypto as it will surely be a part of the future financial systems.

You can now trade more than 100+ cryptos on ZebPay. Keep yourself up to date with the latest crypto news on ZebPay blogs.

Disclaimer: Crypto products and NFTs are unregulated and can be highly risky. There may be no regulatory recourse for any loss from such transactions. Each investor must do his/her own research or seek independent advice if necessary before initiating any transactions in crypto products and NFTs. The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in the article belong solely to the author, and not to ZebPay or the author’s employer or other groups or individuals. ZebPay shall not be held liable for any acts or omissions, or losses incurred by the investors. ZebPay has not received any compensation in cash or kind for the above article and the article is provided “as is”, with no guarantee of completeness, accuracy, timeliness or of the results obtained from the use of this information.

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