Did The Economist predict Bitcoin 30 years ago?

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The Economist Bitcoin

The Economist magazine predicted a global currency 30 years ago, but was it Bitcoin?

The internet was spun into a frenzy by the discovery of the front page headline from January of 1988, which said: “Get ready for a world currency.”

The accompanying image shows a phoenix wearing a gold coin emblazoned with “2018,” the word “ten” and the number “10.”

(It had many thinking the 10th of October, 2018 was a significant date for Bitcoin, but as we know, it appears it wasn’t).

The Economist Bitcoin
The Economist issue from 1998

The article itself begins with this bold claim:

“THIRTY years from now, Americans, Japanese, Europeans, and people in many other rich countries, and some relatively poor ones will probably be paying for their shopping with the same currency.”

Now, that clearly hasn’t happened, but many would argue the global digital currency called Bitcoin is gaining momentum.

The Economist Bitcoin
A 2015 edition of ‘The Economist’ explored Bitcoin and blockchain technology.

The article goes on to say:

“… national economic boundaries are slowly dissolving. As the trend continues, the appeal of a currency union across at least the main industrial countries will seem irresistible to everybody except foreign-exchange traders and governments.”

“In time … its value against national currencies would cease to matter, because people would choose it for its convenience and the stability of its purchasing power.”

Another line that would interest cryptocurrency believers is this:

“As telecommunications technology continues to advance, these transactions will be cheaper and faster still.”

The article finishes by saying we should “pencil in” a global currency for around 2018 and “welcome it when it comes.”