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Should Christians be adopting modern financial innovations such as cash apps or cryptocurrency?

Innovations aren’t necessarily bad. They can certainly make life easier, more convenient, and in some cases less risky. Among the advantages to cash apps on a smartphone are no longer needing to carry cash, a ready record of purchases, and a higher level of security because a smartphone usually is either password protected or can only be opened biometrically (with a fingerprint or facial recognition). There is always the potential that the company managing the financial application (Apple, Google, Samsung, etc.) might get hacked and your financial data might get compromised just as a credit card’s information might, but that risk is similar whether you use a credit card or a smartphone. It’s your choice whether to do it the old way or the new.

The cryptocurrency conversation is a different matter. I’d suggest keeping a healthy distance between yourself and the crypto craze. While there might be some legitimate uses for cryptocurrency, much of its use is speculative and unregulated, which is both its appeal and its danger. It is highly volatile, boasting tremendous returns in a short period and also huge losses.  Swings of 50-80% either way aren’t unusual. More than one analyst has compared cryptocurrency to the tulip mania that swept the Netherlands in the 17th century. Speculators drove up the price, only to see the bubble burst and their fortunes disappear overnight. Most wise voices are saying stay away. Crypto is, one might say, a virtual embodiment of Proverbs 5:8: “Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle.”

One side note about cryptocurrency from an environmental stewardship angle: it’s an energy hog from tracking crypto transactions. Bitcoin, the largest of the cryptocurrencies, by itself uses as much energy as some small countries.

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