Crypto has crossed to an exciting tipping point. Whilst in the past it was mostly used by darknet criminals, crypto has now acquired a well-nigh universal appeal. It has become the go-to financial instrument for people in economically-struggling countries as well as to smart money investors like hedge funds and asset managers.
At the moment, at least 50 million people around the world are using cryptocurrencies. Can this figure grow by circa 9,900% to hit 5 billion? Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong believes this is indeed possible, spurred by one key catalyst: blockchain technology.
Crypto And The Internet
In a recent tweet thread, the Coinbase CEO spoke about a fireside chat he had with Ben Horowitz, the co-founder of venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz.
Armstrong explained how the internet has evolved from the early days when things were not very scalable to when inventions like SSL and HTTPS were created that eventually attracted developers and startups from all over the world. It is these tools that jumpstarted the internet’s mainstream adoption.
He then drew parallels between crypto and the internet, illustrating the interesting similarities of their growth trajectories. The parallels of the internet to crypto, in the eyes of Armstrong, are “pretty staggering”.
Currently, the crypto industry is lacking in some areas, just like the internet was in its infancy stages before it finally caught on. Some improvements like smart contracts and Dapp usability, he noted, are great strides towards achieving mass adoption but the crypto industry still has a long way to go.
How Crypto Grows From 50 Million Users To A Whopping 5 Billion
As per Armstrong, there are 50 million crypto users presently. To get to 5 billion – a 9,900 percent growth – there are key areas of development that the crypto industry needs to address.
As of last month, the number of internet users totaled 4.54 billion. This is less than the 5 billion users of crypto that Armstrong projects. In order to achieve this astronomical growth, he cited the four key areas that he believes will unlock mainstream adoption: scalability, privacy, decentralized identity, and developer tools.
With scalability, Armstrong suggests that the crypto industry needs blockchains that can process thousands of transactions per second (TPS). Contrary to popular opinion, privacy coins will be crucial to achieving mass adoption of crypto.
Regarding decentralized identity, Armstrong opines that advances should be made so that dapps in wallets automatically open and push payment requests to users without much hassle. The decentralized identity will also enable users to have reputation scores that will further drive the growth of crypto.
As for developer tools, he posited that blockchains should make it easy for developers – including amateurs- to build apps and publish them.
He concluded by noting that it is still unknown which blockchain will bolster the mass adoption of crypto to 5 billion users worldwide. The Coinbase exec, however, quipped that the blockchain that manages to solve all the four key areas mentioned above will be the one that brings in the masses.