Toward Actual Adoption: Bringing Crypto to the ’80 Percent’
A report from last year suggests the vast majority of Americans live paycheck to paycheck. In a new tweet, Ethereum co-creator Vitalik Buterin suggested it’s users like these that deserve renewed focus and that can bring about “actual adoption” of crypto. It’s a point worth considering as the cryptocurrency space has gained a reputation for speculation.
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Looking Beyond Gains
Some crypto investors racked up mind-bending portfolio gains in the acute 2017 ICO craze. And, per a more long-term perspective, bitcoin went from worthless to a valuation currently in the thousands of dollars over the last decade — also astonishing.
In my 43 years as a trader there has never been a move like $BTC. The only other market that achieved a superior parabolic advance was German interest rates in 1920s. Even taking a starting point of $1, BTC redoubled 16 times.
— Peter Brandt (@PeterLBrandt) July 26, 2018
In the wider and ever-growing cryptoverse, factors like these have fostered a strong emphasis on cryptocurrencies as fledgling investment vehicles. Bitcoin and its ilk are now seemingly more popularly linked with the realm of speculation than with the darknet-centric mainstream headlines that dominated in bitcoin’s earlier days.
A trickle of heavyweight institutions and mega-investors has emboldened this growing gains-minded zeitgeist. Of course, institutional milestones naturally help mature the ecosystem. But some in the space, like Ethereum co-creator Vitalik Buterin, think it’s time for renewed emphasis on putting crypto in the hands of everyday folks, i.e. those who aren’t major investors.
Toward ‘Actual Adoption’
In a July 29th tweet, Buterin said he thought there was “too much emphasis” on crypto-centric investment products in the space as of late and that there hasn’t been enough focus on making crypto available to the masses, e.g. “via cards at corner stores.”
I think there's too much emphasis on BTC/ETH/whatever ETFs, and not enough emphasis on making it easier for people to buy $5 to $100 in cryptocurrency via cards at corner stores. The former is better for pumping price, but the latter is much better for actual adoption.
— Vitalik Non-giver of Ether (@VitalikButerin) July 29, 2018
For “actual adoption” to occur, Buterin argues, a good start is making crypto as widely available as possible, like making digital asset purchases as easy as buying a phone card is today.
It’s a point well worth considering.
A new Gallup poll is making the rounds in the ecosystem that indicates only two percent of Americans currently own bitcoin. But perhaps a more telling report came last year. It was a CareerBuilder survey from late 2017, and it revealed around 80 percent of American workers live paycheck to paycheck. For these workers, “ETFs” and “futures” might as well be a foreign language.
But they’re the kind of everyday users that shouldn’t be lost in the conversation. To get those paltry adoption percentages higher, toward “actual adoption” as Buterin put it, much more will need to be done to cater toward this aforementioned “80 percent.”
It’s food for thought for today’s blockchain builders, to say the least.
What’s your take? Do you agree or disagree with Buterin’s tweet? Let us know in the comments below.
Images via Pixabay