As the term implies, cryptocurrency adoption is the stage at which crypto assets are part of the norm—being used in everyday transactions and money transfers.
For many enthusiasts, cryptocurrency adoption has been the goal, ever since people started to buy bitcoin for investment purposes. Cryptocurrency enthusiasts dream of adoption in the hopes that the rest of the world will finally see the benefits of cryptocurrencies over traditional fiat currencies.
Barriers to cryptocurrency adoption
Unfortunately, there have been many barriers that have blocked cryptos from achieving that goal, mainly:
Cryptocurrencies are notorious for being volatile, meaning that their prices can rise and fall in dramatic fashions over short periods of time. As a result, many cryptocurrency “muggles” are turned off by the idea, dismissing the idea completely.
Each cryptocurrency is different—some are more scalable than others. But let’s look at Bitcoin, the highest-valued and most popular among all cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin has the power to process seven transactions per second. Although that may sound impressive to some, other modes of payment clearly dominate. For example, Visa has the power to process around 24,000 transactions per second—not even a close race.
Although many developers are working on fixing this by creating more scalable cryptocurrencies or forking the current bitcoin protocol, cryptocurrencies have a long way to go before they are properly scalable.
We’ve been dealing with paper money and coins since the dawn of time—we know how to use it. Cryptocurrencies, on the other hand, have a steeper learning curve, which, in turn, can intimidate a new trader. To effectively use cryptocurrencies, money isn’t the only thing you’ll need to invest, but time and energy as well.
Countries that are proving otherwise
Despite the many barriers that block mainstream adoption, cryptocurrencies are proving that they, too, are evolving—creating real-use cases and more efficient processes along the way.
To put that into perspective, let’s take a look at some of the countries where cryptocurrency adoption is highest, proving that there are real benefits to accepting a new kind of money:
A survey was conducted by ING Bank, a Dutch banking and financial services corporation. The survey spanned 15 different countries, with almost 15,000 participants. Results showed that 18% of people in Turkey owned crypto. Although it seems small, when you put it beside America’s 8%, it’s a big gap.
There are many factors as to why the popularity of cryptocurrencies is growing in Turkey. many point to the breakdown in trade relations with the US and the inflation that the native currency is going through.
As a result, many citizens are looking to use cryptocurrency as a way to hedge their wealth and use these digital coins as potential safe havens for the looming financial threats they’re experiencing.
Also, the regulations issued by the government are lenient, with traders being allowed to go about their business.
Just like Turkey, Brazil is experiencing high inflation rates, political unrest, and failing banking systems. As a result, Brazilians are looking to cryptocurrencies like bitcoin as well.
Brazil’s cryptocurrency regulations have been revised many times, and despite the new regulations not considering cryptocurrencies as legal tender, the country is turning itself into a cryptocurrency hub as many crypto investors in the market are between the ages of 20 to 25.
There are a lot of places in South Africa experiencing a high inflation rate, which can sometimes be in the double or triple digits.
Alongside the current political unrest, inflation is a main driving force for adoption as many people see cryptocurrency as a means of wealth preservation and as a cost-efficient way of sending remittances.
And with more Africans connecting themselves to the Internet, adoption has nowhere to go but up. As a result of that connection, peer-to-peer bitcoin trading in South Africa has become a popular option, allowing traders to choose among hundreds of payment methods to obtain their BTC.
On the rise
With economies on the downfall, countries experiencing political unrest, and now, with people staying at home due to the pandemic, cryptocurrencies are starting to shine as real financial alternatives. In fact, more people are starting to get interested in crypto despite COVID-19, probably because many people are looking for ways to earn money while social distancing and stay-at-home protocols are being implemented.
In the long run, there are still many tests that cryptocurrencies will have to pass before it can be adopted worldwide—and only in time will we be able to see if they pass or not.
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