As the economy gets set to open in earnest, there’s an increasing focus on how people can use virtual currencies to pay for things.
But it’s not all about getting a few extra quid for a drink, or a few more quid to spend at the bar.
We spoke to some of the people who are using virtual currencies, and how it’s changing their lives.
A lot of people use virtual currency to get around their financial problems and to make ends meet, but they’re not all in it for the money.
A lot of them also get a little bit of pleasure out of sharing their experience of using virtual currency, says Joanna Taggart, a financial technology researcher at the University of Sydney.
I think people are finding it a lot more fun to go and have a few drinks, she says.
“The thing that’s really interesting is that it’s a way of expressing your thoughts and feelings and ideas in a very simple way, in a way that is really accessible to everyone.”
Taggart is a fan of the new digital currency, Ether, and she’s not alone.
“Ether is really an exciting platform,” says Joanne Ritchie, a senior lecturer in financial services at Sydney’s Macquarie University.
“Ethereum is a way to get away from the financial system and a way for people to get out of financial obligations and to live more financially free.”
The platform, which allows users to exchange their Ether for a physical currency, was launched last year and has seen a huge surge in popularity.
It has been used to pay bills and pay for purchases, such as buying food, cars and other goods.
The first Ether transaction took place in September, when an individual using the platform bought a bottle of vodka for $0.30, or about US$0.20.
While it can take some time to find an Ether-based currency, many people find that they’re able to convert some of their payments into fiat currency with ease, thanks to their friends and families.
In a survey by research firm Mintel, over half of Australian households had a friend or relative using Ether, with the vast majority of them using the virtual currency.
As well as allowing people to exchange money for a variety of goods and services, Ether also has a lot of potential to become a popular way to pay people.
People can buy groceries with Ether, which is currently accepted by the Australian government, and people can buy cars with Ether.
It’s easy to understand why people are looking to get their financial lives under control, with a little extra cash in their pocket.
“I think there are a lot people who use Ether in order to get financial transactions done that they don’t normally do,” says Taggert.
There’s also the fact that Ether has a very low cost, says Ritchie.
“If you’re in a financial crisis, the cost of Ether is probably less than $0.”
Tensions have risen over the last few months as the government announced it would be restricting the use of Ether in the UK.
But while Ether is currently the most popular cryptocurrency in the world, there are other cryptocurrencies that are used more widely.
Bubble.io, the second most popular digital currency after Ether, has seen its price fall by around US$50 in the last 12 months, after the country imposed a ban on transactions involving the virtual money.
Bitcoin, which has gained in popularity in recent years, is the second-most popular cryptocurrency after Ether and has a market cap of $2.3 billion.
But while Ether has been rising in popularity, there is also an increasing recognition that it has its limitations.
Ether has been criticized for being too volatile, and the UK government recently imposed a five-year ban on Ether-related businesses.
Other cryptocurrencies like Ripple, the digital currency that is often used as a form of payment in many countries, have seen a number of high-profile controversies over the past few months, including accusations of money laundering and manipulation.
More people are moving to virtual currencies because of its more flexible trading platforms and low fees, explains Taggett.
“They are a little more affordable than their fiat counterparts.”
But some are also trying to make their financial future a little simpler.
Sterling, the UK pound sterling, has fallen by around 15% since the beginning of the year, and has been sliding in recent weeks.
According to Mintel’s latest Money Tracker report, the number of people in the United Kingdom using virtual money increased by 2% last year.
That is the highest rate in at least five years, and it suggests that the virtual economy is growing, but it doesn’t mean that the people using it are in it to make a quick buck.
We are living in an era where people are becoming more and more aware of digital currencies, says Tippett.
“People are more aware that there