Ever since 1000AD, fiat money has been in used and its influence extend beyond the banking system. It is the global, standardized means of payment and receives a total backup of governments. The confidence of the user is protected by the government machines that monitor the regulation of creation and supply of paper money. Business institutions and banks transact with money because central banks guarantee their security.
In order for bitcoin to substitute paper money, it needs to uproot the undue influence of paper money in politics and social- economy of the world. This means that it has to be accepted by the governments as the main means of payment, banking sector and ordinary people. There is no limit on the amount of paper money that should be printed.
Theoretically, the supply of money is supposed to reflect the productivity of the economy. When the number of goods and services increases, there will be a need for money to pay for them. This will increase the money supply and the central banks will step in to make sure that it controls inflation. This system has continued for a considerable time and it has assured governments and shareholders that it can sustain itself. Bitcoin is only efficient in its operation, but there are certain area of concerns it does not address:
1). If bitcoin remains to be a virtual currency how will it service the analog part of the world?
2). If bitcoin has a controlled supply what will happen if productivity increases?
3). If the maximum number of bitcoin is set 21 million how will it service over 7 billion people?
In as much as it’s convenient for online merchants, it does not hold the capacity to replace paper money. Different countries respond differently to the use of bitcoin; therefore, the effect of bitcoin will be different in different countries. It can only manage to become a new digital asset as it is evident in the announcement of the release of bitcoin futures, but not a new medium of exchange. However, if the whole world including the developed countries switch to digital, bitcoin might pose a threat to paper money. That is unlikely to happen in the recent future.
In fact, there has been an effort by various central banks, such as the European Central Bank to regulate it. The current economic system has shareholders who benefit from the established monetary system. Their interests are protected by their respective governments through different arms, such as the military and central banks. Even in developed countries where the central banks are not interfered by politics, they still provide a conducive economic environment on behalf of the government.
Bitcoins and other digital currency can only replace real money in the online platform only to a certain degree. However, since paper money has the backup of the governments, it is unlikely that cryptocurrencies will substitute paper money.