Years ago, Bitcoin was a completely obscure and pretty much unknown payment method used only by a few, and mostly in the deepest, darkest corners of the internet. Then 2017 happened, and cryptocurrency burst into common knowledge thanks to the meteoric rise of its exchange rate. Suddenly, the entire media has started talking about it, and its existence has become common knowledge.
But, despite Bitcoin and the rest of the crypto coins that have emerged over time coming to light, and the explosion in the number of blockchain wallets (the number of these has more than doubled since the beginning of 2017, growing close to 25 million today), and despite cryptocurrencies being accepted by a large number of major tech firms (like Microsoft and Amazon, among others) and seeping into Vegas gambling through BitPay and similar services, their real life use is still pretty much occasional. This makes one wonder: when will cryptocurrency become the norm?
The potential user
Let’s be honest for a minute: for the average human, Bitcoin and the rest of cryptocurrencies are a bit scary. People were taught that traditional currencies have something of value behind them – their countries’ gold reserves, economies, and such.
Cryptocurrencies don’t – their value expressed in traditional money is completely based on supply and demand (of course, there are many other factors at play, but let’s keep it simple for now). Besides, people think they understand at least the basic rules that govern the workings of traditional currencies – they have vague notions about inflation, interest rates, purchasing power and such.e
But cryptocurrencies work on completely different terms that most people have no idea about, and this makes them reluctant to embrace them. And if you try to explain to them the mining process, the blockchain as a whole, and the exchanges, they get lost pretty fast.
When will cryptocurrency become the norm?
Just like any other novel or innovative way to pay: when people will be able to use it at the grocery store at the corner. At first, people exchanged eggs for meat, shoes for knives, grains for milk, and such. Then coins – as a universally exchangeable item – were introduced, and it took a long time before they became the norm.
Then paper money was invented, followed by plastic – credit and debit cards, contactless cards, and such. And right now, people have just started embracing contactless payments made with phones and other devices (today, you can pay with your wristwatch, for example). It will take some time for people – and merchants – to embrace crypto as the new way to pay.
In short, cryptocurrency will be embraced as a bona fide payment method as soon as it becomes widespread enough for the average user to stumble upon it everywhere.