I recently posted about Bitcoins, but there are a lot more interesting developments in the world of electronic currency. Most of these don't operate like Bitcoin, but all easily have some pretty cool features and possible uses. In this case, the small companies actually have a little bit of a lead if a lead can be given to anyone, which is very uncharacteristic int he world of technology.
The first electronic currency is facilitated by my favorite company, Google. If you have an Android device, you're probably pretty familiar with it from the notifications you'll get. Its called Google Wallet. It acts as a sort of secondary bank, with a whole lot more features that make spending a little easier, just what we all need. You can transfer money into Google Wallet and store it there until you want to spend it. Where it gets pretty cool is that you can transfer money through another users Gmail address. The uses seem limited when you first think about it, but looking a little more into it it makes social engagements a lot more hassle-free. For example, say you go out to lunch with some friends, instead of splitting the bill into 4 equal parts, you can have one person pay, and the rest transfer money on their phones to the guy who paid originally, and they can do it of their phones. Several places are accepting payment through Google Wallet on phones,a nd there is now an actual physical card out that makes it a bigger monetary force than ever.
Other electronic currency has been around for while actually. Just e-banking. A lot of people are able to look at their balances, pay bills, and many other things just on their banks' websites. I know I use this feature a ton for my two debit cards, mostly to make sure Best Buy pays me, which luckily they haven't missed a paycheck yet. There are some obvious and well-rooted concerns in electronic currency in its stability. With hackers as dexterous as ever there have been quite a few thefts of currency. Rest assured though, the theft of electronic currency is very low, negligible in fact to the amount of money circulating on the internet.
For the most part, electronic currency is extremely safe, and definitely useful. In the last 10 years, its uses and extent have grown exponentially along with the internet it accompanies. It is another step in a world that is increasingly connected over the internet.