The adoption of blockchain technology and the various cryptocurrencies is finding a strong hold among many different sectors across the globe. Traditional audiences for blockchain technology and cryptocurrency - Wall Street banking entities and finance firms - are now interested in moving into the cryptocurrency space including big players like, Nasdaq, VanEck Asset Management, and Fidelity International.
Interested traders can now trade digital and fiat currencies across many countries. Nations like Australia, Singapore and Switzerland are among those experimenting with cryptotechnology for their stock exchanges. Crypto-exchanges are the new market place for token holders and traders. The Founder of Blockchain Tech Pty Ltd believes that Blockchain technology provides an efficient method to reduce transaction cost dramatically to protect property rights: "All parties in a market naturally gravitate toward the most efficient and mutually beneficial outcome."
Furthermore, according to BitcoinExchangeGuide, numerous academic institutions are now starting to offer courses on blockchain technology including conservative institutions like Cornell, Stanford, and MIT who are now embracing the innovative nature of blockchain technology and cryptocurrency. Countries like Ireland and Australia, are working on creating blockchain technology related Ph.D. programs and university courses, as well as reaching out to early age schools to encourage children to spark an interest in programming, Coincentral reported.
Other services like Facebook’s WhatsApp application, which is widely popular in India with over 200 million users in the country, are planning to move in the crypto space. It is reported that Facebook is working on developing a cryptocurrency that will enable users to transfer money on its WhatsApp messaging app. The remittance market in India is significantly large, as stated by Cointelegraph, the sector received nearly $60 billion dollars in foreign remittances in 2017 (or 2.8% of India’s GDP). It is interesting to notice how Facebook’s stance on digital currency has changed over the last year. In January 2018, the social media network introduced a crypto ad ban aimed at preventing the promotion of financial products and services that associated with misleading or deceptive promotional practices, and then relaxed their policy in June 2018, says TechCrunch.
Then there are companies like Jinance, which is an Australia-based trading platform backed by blockchain technology designed to support the adoption of the increasing worldwide trend in cryptocurrencies trading. Members of String Exchange, can significantly reduce their trading costs and earn an income from the new accounts they refer. The CTO of Jinance has mentioned that they have adopted hardware level security measurements to securely manage cryptocurrencies.
All the above mentioned businesses and institutions are adopting new technologies with an aim to becoming frontiers of the Fintech industry.
While the idea of mass adoption for cryptocurrency is appealing for many blockchain and digital coins enthusiasts, cryptocurrency has had its fair share of bumps along the way due to negative events encountered over the years.
As reported by Cryptosrus, Criminal activities have long been associated with cryptocurrency and its arguably the most common barrier of mass adoption. Money laundering, extortion, and tax evasion are some of the most common criminal acts linked to digital currency.
Another major challenge that hinders mass adoption is the “lack of clarity”, as stated by Coincentral. Many details surrounding cryptocurrencies can be a bit unclear at times, which can be confusing.
Regulation around Bitcoin, for example, may pose questions as to whether cryptocurrency is affected or not. Some sources state that bitcoin is not affected by regulations, while others have stated that regulations are unsure, which has created further contradicting information within the cryptocurrency community; a lack of clarity can lead to a lack of interest for many.
It’s only been just over a decade since the smartphone appeared on the scene. Changing mindsets and culture requires time. Whilst blockchain may be a little clunky today, it can be argued that mainstream adoption can happen in the near future once the technological infrastructure and usability improves.
Is mass cryptocurrency adoption still a way off?