As Bitcoin and the the rest of the cryptocurrency markets continue their rollercoaster ride of dips and surges, many are wondering when exactly these new digital assets will actually be used by the public.
Investors continue to see a great bull run opportunity in the cryptocurrency sector and trading volume remains strong as people increasingly show interest in buying cryptocurrencies. But what is stopping Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies from becoming mainstream currencies?
Bitcoin was born out of a time of financial uncertainty. The financial crisis of 2008 included the failure of several major banks and financial institutions and it began to erode the confidence the public had in them.
“It was obvious that the population cannot trust its financial leaders to keep their money safe. There was a strong sense of anxiety about the economy’s structure,” says Ilan Klein the founder of a blockchain-based art market called Blockchain Sensible.
He told PCmag that the worldwide economic climate is in much better shape and no longer driving people to cryptocurrency. With the world’s economy firmly entrenched in a long period of steady growth the anxiety seems to be mostly gone and the urgency to buy alternate forms of value storage is only existent in a few struggling countries.
Another problem holding back Bitcoin and altcoins is the fact that there aren’t a lot of people that know how to use the new technology. On top of that, many people who are interested in investing in cryptocurrencies are not comfortable moving their assets due to fear of losing money to costly rookie mistakes.
Klein also spoke about the need for average citizens to fully understand the new technology and be able to use it just as easily as they would cash or credit cards.
“It takes quite a bit of effort to start using any cryptocurrency… You need to download a wallet, and some currencies require that you download and sync the wallet to the current blockchain status before you can validate a transaction. And depending on the size of the blockchain, this can take a while.”
Bitcoin also has a problem with efficiency. The expensive fees are also not conducive for using BTC to buy simple everyday items. Many experts argue that even if Bitcoin is widely accepted as a store of value, it will never be used as a currency for basic daily transactions because paying expensive fees for a sandwich simply doesn’t make sense.
Still, others claim solutions like Lightning Network will make even the smallest transactions possible for Bitcoin.
As of now the cryptocurrency market is driven by speculation and obviously beneficial use cases must soon be delivered for mass adoption to occur.