This fabulous and deep article in the Atlantic looks at the infrastructure that makes money move to understand the future of monetary forms like Bitcoin.
Like all infrastructure, consumers think about payment systems only when they don’t work well, when a card is declined or someone starts writing a check at the front of the line at the grocery store. But every time we try to pay for something, small bits of value get transferred between actors in this network, invisibly.
Coins, paper, checks, and cards have all shown incredible resistance to being fully replaced. Network effects explain this resilience. With payment technology, everyone has to invest in the change to make it worthwhile.