We know that mainstream adoption of new commercial systems takes time. The transition from exchanging gold for goods to exchanging gold paper for goods took a period of 400 years. Credit cards took 28 – 50 years to see broad adoption and ubiquity.
So what needs to happen for Bitcoin and cryptocurrency to go “Mainstream” and what is the yardstick: technological adoption or transactional adoption? Or technological adoption to the point of unknown transactional origin or destination?
The road not taken
The Speed of adoption is determined by need, some Venezuelans capitalised on this as the country slipped into hyperinflation. Global or major currencies suffering hyperinflation will not be the catalyst for mass Bitcoin or crypto adoption. Most people would rather flee their country due to the limited available prospects. And many people will go hungry.
Third world exotic currencies will fail, and some of those nations’ citizens will adopt Bitcoin and cryptocurrency mining. This is not mainstream adoption but opportunistic capitalism and wealth preservation that can spark sustainable grassroots support locally for Bitcoin and cryptocurrency use.
Technological revolutions take innovation and breaking barrier restrictions.
1. Crypto Must Be Easy to Use
Above anything else, cryptocurrency needs to be so easy to use that a grandmother can figure it out. The majority of consumers are not technically advanced so if they have to go through complex, multi-step processes to purchase or use crypto then we will never achieve mass adoption.
Although we aren’t there yet, we are getting much closer. Many cryptocurrency exchanges like CoinSwitch are allowing users to purchase crypto with a credit card. Something that previously was a much more complex process.
Regulations are reactions to systemic problems which limit ease of business. These need to be clearly defined, for people to feel the need to do business in Bitcoins and with bitcoin startups or focused companies.
What are the tax incentives and loopholes? Accountants need to be brought on board and if these exist they will be exploited or are already being exploited..
2. Accountants will play a critical role
Most accountants for mom and pop businesses have no formal training in Bitcoin or cryptocurrencies and revert to foreign exchange regulations (R1), commodity regulations (R2) and taxation (R3).
This is changing with governmental whitepapers and tertiary education institutes offering courses and advanced specialisations, masters and doctorates in cryptocurrencies.
This will surely drive the change in fintech and cryptocurrency adoption. And we are only 10 years into the 1st generation.
3. Lawyers must help to regulate efficiently
Lawyers, like accountants, understand the same underlying regulations and laws that give rise to orderly society.
Lawyers would also review the constitution (R4) and the bill of rights (R5), new things generally follow suit of the old unless it can’t be defined by one class – which Bitcoin can’t and is an outlier in its entirety.
As parts, crypto has overlapping regulations and overlapping territories and a safe bet is to look at the most strict of all regulations . R1 – R5 need cases to go through courts, in regards to Bitcoin matters, globally.
This is being done successfully as people commit crime, they are sometimes caught and tried and generally people don’t agree and need arbitration.
4. Generational wealth transference
Estate planning is mainstream. Backups and multisig wallets with expiration aren’t. Where is the simple bitcoin service that solves this problem?
If mainstream adoption is the endgame, this is a major sector with each country having regulations. Some provinces and states have superseding regulations for local autonomy. This is by no means a simple task for a global community. This needs to be undertaken and completed. This is literally the poison pill for the honey badger.
5. Governments need to get onboard
What securities’ laws apply to whom and when? The developers nation or nations, the nodes, miner locations or nationalities of the end user and their regulators. This question has not been adequately answered.
Many governments have flexed their might by banning cryptocurrencies in part or fully. Going after 1broker is an example of who has power over whom, when, and why. American Stocks, American Markets, American Citizens begets American law. Some exchanges refused clients in the United States of America, some American exchanges even had to flag and ban specific states. Most nations have similar claims and enforce them.
All governments have to do is regulate favourably for mainstream adoption.
6. Crackdowns on crypto crime
Most cryptocurrency crimes are opportunistic. Ransomware and kidnapping are two such examples where you just pay up or hire someone or group to resolve the issue. With ransomware, paying up is faster and cheaper, averaged for instance under the cost of a burglary.
Collectively, it’s a major consequence of how people won’t backup their data responsibly, because it takes time, money, scheduling, and personal security consciousness. Somehow, mainstream average people can act as banks with risk models, disaster recovery, policies, procedures and insurance which is insane, but ok.
Unfortunately, people can get kidnapped sometimes because they talk about Bitcoin recklessly and kidnappers think crypto is anonymous. A horrible combo when an airdrop a few years ago can be a year’s wages in some countries.
7. More entrepreneurial blockchain initiatives
Thankfully, governments only need to regulate and fish for taxes and local job creation. Entrepreneurs will do all the other work needed including finding governments to work with. Etherium and Russia’s relationship are what can be achieved.
Entrepreneurs create third party providers to fill voids and mesh form and function. No on and off ramps needed, just service providers and payment portals. The security concerns rank about equal to most traditional payment service providers.
This will create seamless individual adoption once products are used and discovered. Multiple retail outlets have tested and implemented cryptocurrency payment in store and online. Year on year adoption is growing. ATM’s installations had no bear market, with the only negative month being November 2015.
Adoption needs dual pronged merchant and service development that focuses on sector specific problems either tailored at business or retail. Makers are creating usable standards and users are rejecting products which don’t have well executed features and are purposeful.
Useability is increasing and scaling.
8. TPS must be improved
Retail companies are bringing in tractional opportunities. The crypto market is capitalising on this with ease of use functionality. Blockchain bloat is concerning for all networks, granted concern is limited by Moore’s law and Bear markets.
The cutting edge of Miners and Node computing is getting faster and can process more, and as blockchains get larger, harddrives become cheaper.
Bear markets serve as technological springboards for engineers, developers and entrepreneurs to simply work on advancing useful services that became resistant to extinction. Services that are not resistant release capital. Capital can be diverted to prepare for the next round of mania.
Stocks aren’t mainstream, so why should Bitcoin be? Stocks aren’t easy to use for a reason. The barriers to entry exist because people love to create a bubble. The Internet, email, and computers provide us with the dotcom bubble and crypto has had its own bubbles fueled by wifi; smartphone and blockchain are no different.
Bitcoin’s goal for mainstream mass adoption should be that convenience is king. Mainstream mass adoption users shouldn’t know they are using Bitcoin.
9. Banks must adopt blockchain/crypto too
Banks don’t need to fail. They will incorporate Bitcoin and blockchain components; blockchain adoption will be seamless in this regard. The idea of triple entry bookkeeping is here to stay. The architecture is cheaper to implement and cheaper to manage. Onramp fiat exchanges need to be classified as crypto banks with minimum account insurance as per national requirements.
10. Market Stabilization
Risk seekers and professional market timers are investing into Bitcoin directly creating violent price extremes which is natural for a new somewhat rigged commodity market. Some OG bitcoiners can move the market single-handedly.
Whales are involved in spoofing trade orders and wash trading, with some waiting years to execute elaborate plans. This excludes certain classes of investors,namely the risk averse. Granted, time perspective is everything. Was the bottom bought 8, 5 or 2 years ago or at the top of the market?
Crypto companies are selling shares in the traditional market. Greyscale bitcoin trust or Hut 8 Mining. A sovereign wealth fund publicly investing in Bitcoin could spark wider adoption faster or whales would hunt their stop losses and severely hurt the price temporarily .
So can we achieve a cashless society?
Looking at these metrics, we should see a shared open borderless cryptographic ledger as a world currency player with mainstream adoption in 15 to 20 years. Sooner, depending on regulations and entrepreneurs. Any major step towards cashless economies from either BRIC’s nations or the NATO nations will escalate the timeline.
Gresham’s law, the future will decide which bad money survives. Cashless centralized, decentralized or both.
Jesús is a doctor turned cryptocurrency and blockchain enthusiast who loves sharing his thoughts on cryptocoinsociety.com to help simply crypto in order to make it more accessible to the masses.