Below is a fascinating TED talk Paul Kemp-Robertson about the rise of alternative currencies and the possibility they may one day replace government currency. He discusses Bitcoin during the talk, which is a clearly rising star in the alternative currency world. In fact, many, including myself believe many of the Central Banks around the globe conspired to drive up and then crash the price of Bitcoin a little while back. Gangsters really hate competition.
While I am not sure alternative currencies will suddenly be all the rage in the immediate future, I do believe they will continue to grow and dominate as time rolls on. It is almost inevitable when you consider the governments who are deficit spending for wars, which by the way Paul addresses in his talk as why there was an end to alternative currencies in the U.S. around 1860, and paying for ever growing entitlement programs. Quite simply continued spending and raising the debt limit is unsustainable. No matter if the purse strings are pulled closed by a bank or by the public at large a point is reached where currencies that are destroyed of value via a deficit spending government must end.
As people begin to see the deteriorating value, endless tracking and control being applied to currencies it seems inevitable that alternative currencies will start dominating. Watch the video and judge for yourself.