What Would It Take for Bitcoin to Reach Mass Adoption?
Right now, a lot of people own Bitcoin (BTC)—but not everyone does. Over the past decade, this crypto has been gradually gaining traction in financial markets and various institutions. Even entire countries have been exploring BTC’s potential as a legal tender, a vehicle for sending cheaper remittances, and means for wealth preservation.
Despite the long list of things you can buy with Bitcoin, its reach hasn’t expanded to every part of the world yet. To get to the level of widespread Bitcoin adoption, there are crucial factors that have to be examined and considered. But, before we get into those factors, let’s look at the current status of BTC adoption.
The Bitcoin adoption rate in 2020
We’re slowly shifting towards a digital world where paperless transactions are the new normal—including fiat money converted into cryptos like Bitcoin. Cryptocurrencies are becoming more popular today, and many people are trying their luck with this new kind of money.
In Bitcoin’s early years, it received a lot of feedback from different industries and jurisdictions. Some were open to the idea, but others found it challenging to grasp and consider as an asset for long-term use. After more than a decade, people in various countries have slowly accepted BTC’s powerful applications—which is why we’ve seen its adoption slowly rise as well.
Recent data from Statista shows the prevalence of crypto ownership in different parts of the world. Among the top countries that own and utilize Bitcoin and other digital currencies for remittances and other transactions include Nigeria, Vietnam, and South Africa, to name a few.
Industries and businesses that accept BTC as payment are popping up as well. Major companies from entertainment and sports, automotive, food and beverages, technology, banking and finance, and other industries are starting to accept Bitcoin as payment for their products and services.
From plane tickets and hotel accommodations to pizza, luxury cars, and even a trip to space—you’d be surprised to discover what you can actually do with Bitcoin. There are also thousands of cryptocurrency exchanges and marketplaces emerging online. This just goes to show that there’s a big chunk of the world’s population that sees the true power of Bitcoin.
Key drivers for Bitcoin’s mass adoption
For the adoption curve to go even higher, there are some driving factors to consider.
Legal and regulatory concerns
With its unique features, Bitcoin can become an effective means to reach the unbanked and underbanked population. However, this revolutionary goal is still hindered by legal and regulatory issues that vary depending on the jurisdiction.
BTC, in itself, has a decentralized nature. However, the countries’ governments and central banks still have authority over the legalization of crypto assets. Despite BTC gaining a lot of popularity in some countries, others remain skeptical.
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However, there is still hope. Estonia, Japan, Singapore, Germany, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom are some of the Bitcoin-friendly countries out there—along with other countries taking it up a notch like El Salvador, which recently classified BTC as legal tender.
Despite making payments, transferring money, and engaging in market investments being some of the most popular uses of Bitcoin, there’s still no certainty that it’ll replace government-issued money in the future.
For example, transferring money with BTC is cheaper and faster compared to traditional means. On the flip side, there are still some limitations to making Bitcoin transactions, especially in countries where traditional banks and other money remittance companies remain the primary means of remittance.
Since BTC is yet to be globally accepted as a payment method, direct payments and purchases will still be limited.
Bitcoin is a digital currency and it works and operates through powerful technology. The process of acquiring it—Bitcoin mining—requires high-power equipment, a stable Internet connection, digital storage space, and high electrical energy levels. These requirements have been an issue for some countries due to the potential of environmental harm, but research is already being done into alternative forms of energy.
Besides mining, gaining access to Bitcoin can seem challenging and complicated for some. Buying BTC, holding, and spending it requires a smartphone or laptop that could connect to the Internet. While a good percentage of the population today has gadgets and other digital devices, having access to a stable Internet connection is among the other challenges.
Not all parts of the world have a fast, stable, and reliable source for the Internet. Some developing countries are dealing with the costs and unreliable connectivity. This limited connection could be a bottleneck for Bitcoin’s mass adoption.
With BTC reaching all-time highs during the pandemic, there’s definitely more Bitcoin awareness now. Because of the past two years alone, it’s safe to say that Bitcoin has gained a mainstream presence with all the headlines, mentions in mainstream media, social media posts, and more.
However, for BTC to truly make an impact, people need to know how it works. The only way to achieve this is to educate people. The more people know the reason behind the prices that make headlines, the more they’ll see its true power.
Yes, Bitcoin still has its limitations today, but as we gradually transition towards a digital world, people may see crypto as a new means of personal finance. Once people all over the globe give it a shot and see past its investment purposes, there’s no doubt that Bitcoin has the potential to shake the financial world to its core.