Trend Blog

Imagine never entering a bank again, having your money be cloud-based, and being able to pay anybody anywhere, without hassle or conversion rates and fees. That’s beauty of how Bitcoin, a decentralized electronic payment service (or cryptocurrency), is engineered to work. While traditional currency is based on value of gold, Bitcoin is based on a mathematical formula and stored in a digital wallet app—no “real,” tangible coins or bills exist.

In a world where Millennials are demanding more transparency in every realm of their lives—from their fashion brands to financial institutions—Bitcoin is being hailed as the gateway to a cash-free tomorrow. It is turning up in surprising places throughout Prague, a city of old-world castles and customs.

Prague is in fact home to the world’s first Bitcoin-only cafe, Paralelní Polis, and several other bars and cafes where you can pay either by cash or Bitcoins only (no credit cards). All these bars and cafes are trendy and packed with creative locals, chatting, networking and socializing.

While these hotspots point to the future, don’t give up on bills, coins and credit and debit cards just yet. Bitcoin still has a way to go—the user interface of the ATMs, for starters, needs some work to give consumers a smooth, fast transaction. And of course, it needs help reaching a larger audience—many Millennials have heard of Bitcoin but don’t yet know how to access or use it, as services like Venmo are much more commonly used. But keep your eyes open as this breed of money crops up in other points around the globe. There’s no doubt that digital is the shape of currency to come.

Post by Anuja Joshi, Trendspotter-at-large for Faith Popcorn’s BrainReserve. Part of the project, Anuja is proving that—thanks to technology—one can work just about anywhere.