This isn’t to say technology doesn’t play an important role in emergency situations. In fact, storing your information in the cloud is another critical step for protecting your information (along with complex passcodes that are written down and safely stored somewhere you can always access). You want to be able to access bank and insurance records and other necessary contracts from anywhere you might end up.
One of today’s most contentious ideas is cryptocurrency. Though many treat bitcoin, Ethereum and others like stocks, that is not their purpose nor was it even considered in their design. While the tokenization of companies is fast becoming a reality, we’re still a few years away from mass engagement with cryptocurrencies—but that day is coming.
This can best be understood by looking at initiatives being conducted inside of refugee camps, which themselves are emergency centers. Microsoft recently teamed up with the United Nations to initiate the process of a blockchain-based identification system so that the world’s 1.1 billion undocumented citizens have a way of verifying their identities and safely storing their assets. (Blockchain is a model that is used as the basis for cryptocurrency transactions and can be used for any other type of information exchange.) Since many currencies are tied up with national governments, and many citizens who live in war-torn regions only have cash, flight from a sudden attack brings a chance that they cannot get to their life’s savings. And if their assets are stored in centralized banks, the controlling entity might not let them have their money.
Securing assets in a cryptocurrency means that you have access to your money anywhere on the planet. The volatility of markets makes this risky, but that will change as organizations figure out ways to stabilize their own market-based ecosystems. As more companies and governments maintain records on a blockchain—IBM recently signed a lucrative deal with the Delaware government for just this reason—using cryptocurrency to purchase products and necessities will become easier. This might prove essential in the case of an emergency.
Of course, there’s Money 1.0 to consider, as well: Always have cash on hand. I’ve become so invested in Apple Pay that this is one measure at which I fail miserably. Writing this article is a good reminder that I should always keep $100 in my wallet just in case. The future might be coming, but everyone takes cash.