There is no question that cryptocurrency is changing the world of finance in many different ways. While this emerging asset class still has some growing pains to overcome, it’s already showing a lot of promise for the future of finance. Here are some of the key ways in which the cryptocurrency industry may have a permanent, lasting effect on the financial world for years to come.

1. Retirement Funds

Cryptocurrency is already providing a platform for people to benefit from investing in ways that were not previously available to them. Now, as the cryptocurrency industry becomes safer and more legitimate, pension and retirement funds are beginning to add crypto to their list of products. You can even get a SMSF crypto in Australia, which is a self-managed superannuation fund that can be invested in cryptocurrency. That means you can capitalize on the spectacular gains of the cryptocurrency market while securing a brighter future for your family.

2. Decentralized Finance

Currently, one of the most controversial elements of the cryptocurrency industry is decentralized finance (DeFi). DeFi allows complete strangers from all over the world to provide financial services to each other without the need for a bank, lawyer, or any other form of intermediary. Naturally, this kind of system comes within inherent dangers and while on paper DeFi users should be protected by the power of blockchain and smart contracts, there have been a series of hacks and thefts. However, DeFi has the potential to evolve into a safe and functional platform that helps to give people all over the world independent financial control.

3. Sending Money Abroad

Cryptocurrency has already proven incredibly useful for conducting fast and cheap cross-border money transfers. Due to the autonomous and trustless nature of blockchain technology, we no longer need banks or financial institutions to validate transactions. Any amount of money can be sent from one crypto wallet to another instantly for almost zero fees, and nobody can trick the system because it’s secured by a system of decentralized consensus. Following a successful pilot program in 2017, major US bank JPMorgan is now operating a real-time cross-border payment system built on the Ethereum blockchain.

4. Advancing Renewable Energy

One of the biggest issues facing the cryptocurrency industry is the heavy use of electricity required to secure proof-of-work (PoW) blockchains like Bitcoin. The excessive energy usage is often cited as an unnecessary waste but it’s critically important to the operation of the network. To reduce the environmental impact, wealthy cryptocurrency advocates are now investing heavily in renewable energy sources, helping to rapidly advance this important field of science. Although not directly related to finance, renewable energy is quickly becoming one of the most important components of the global economy.

5. Disaster Relief

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has recently highlighted the cryptocurrency industry’s powerful potential as a source of disaster relief funding. During times of war, displaced citizens and refugees are often cut off completely from their bank accounts and savings. However, the propensity of WiFi and mobile phone connectivity the world over means these people can still access cryptocurrency apps. This is often a much faster and cheaper way of supplying emergency funding in times of crisis, and can be used by local humanitarian organizations to fund aid.