The goal is to be accepted by merchants, financial institutions, regular people, and pretty much every business, government, and individual out there.
From Niche Concept to Major Disruptive Force
12 years ago, when Bitcoin first emerged, people doubted that it would ever be used by more than a handful of tech geeks and cybercriminals. As the year went by, the adoption started to grow. Slowly at first, but then it started speeding up. In 2017, it reached massive levels due to the price growth, where millions around the world started coming to the crypto market, trading, investing, developing new projects, and even scamming others.
At one point, some people started to believe that that was it — crypto is being adopted. However, then the crypto winter hit, and even those who did adopt it started to leave, disappointed. A lot of people stayed, of course, but something more important started to happen. Crypto started attracting institutions. It started attracting governments, central banks, and financial services.
They did not jump straight to investments, of course, but they started paying attention after seeing its potential, advanced technology, cheap transactions, speed of processing, and more. Some realized that they could go crypto. Others — mostly banks — realized that they had to start adopting it to remain relevant. After all, cryptos were created to take the power away from the banks, and if the banks continued to ignore it, they would be left behind due to inferior technology.
But, they couldn’t just accept Bitcoin and the altcoins, and help bring their own extinction. Instead, they started developing CBDCs. Businesses saw this and recognized it as the green light to start ‘going crypto.’ Some teamed up with the existing projects, others developed their own coins (or at least tried to), while institutional investors finally started buying and HODLing.
All of that brings us to right now, to 2021, when cryptocurrencies are not quite adopted yet, but they are closer to adoption than ever before. Partially thanks to this year’s price surge, and partially due to the previous 12 years of growth and development. While it is one of the worst things to happen to the world for years and years, the COVID-19 pandemic also helped push crypto towards adoption, simply by allowing their best features to shine, while other types of money proved to be unreliable.
Crypto offered instant, cheap, contactless payments, with no central authority to start printing the money whenever it wanted, it allowed people to earn through active trading, or passively through the DeFi sector and its services, it already started solving some of the burning issues around the world, and more.
Adoption – How Do We Know?
But, how will we know when we get to full adoption?
Well, there are certain fundamental adoption drivers, as they were named, that include things like the blockchain, number of transactions, median transaction value, transaction volume, unique number of addresses, ecosystem, and Github. Some believe that exploring these drivers will reveal how far adoption has traveled and that their growth will signify mass adoption.
But, in the end, there is no reliable way to say when the adoption has truly arrived. This will happen on its own, and it will likely still need years to happen. But, crypto continues to advance, grow, and attract new people, that much cannot be denied. The adoption will come, and it is coming pretty much every day, little by little.
There will come a point where we are using crypto as fluidly to buy things in our daily lives as any other currency – this I think will be when we know definitively that we have hit full adoption.