Cryptocurrencies and Mobile Tipping
By Art Carden
I’ve gotten better about this in recent years, but earlier today I was sitting in an airport with no cash. That’s normally not a problem as I use credit cards for almost everything, but it does become a problem where I’m in a situation where cash tipping is appropriate. I fished four quarters out of my briefcase, and while it will do tipping with change is almost an imposition as much as it’s a tip.
This got me thinking: how much easier would life be if I could just tip with Bitcoin or Dogecoin or another cryptocurrency simply by tapping someone’s phone or by scanning a QR code on their nametag or by combining the two with a fist bump or something? Or what if I could do something like that with US dollars using PayPal or a Square or something?
Might this be one of the main ways cryptocurrencies gain wider acceptance? Or would it only work as a patch until it became much easier to do it with USD or Euros or another major currency?
Here’s one potential salutary effect that could make great dissertation fodder for an aspiring health economist: lower disease transmission. Currency is notoriously filthy, and making transfers purely electronically would make the world cleaner and less germed-up than it is today.