Bitcoin was created in 2009.
The first altcoin, Litecoin (LTC), was forked from the Bitcoin blockchain in 2011.
It’s 2022, and crypto transactions are STILL not a universally accepted payment method, nor are they overtaking credit card transactions.
Why is this so? What’s taking so long? Are the governments the only ones making it difficult, or are other elements involved? For all of you asking yourselves the same thing, we will examine four significant factors affecting the mass adoption of cryptocurrencies in this blog.
Let’s face it: understanding what cryptocurrencies are can be quite an achievement, let alone how mining or staking works. And now, imagine having to explain it to your grandparents.
Different blockchains, wallets, safety, privacy, keys, and transactions are just some of the terms the general public will have to understand if we want the mass adoption of crypto. And if you can’t find a way to simplify things so that even those with less technical knowledge would understand, such as your grandparents, they’ll never be accepted and used on a mass scale.
It’s also essential to teach consumers not to fall victim to the FUD (fear, uncertainty, and doubt) around crypto. The word “money” has always been known to attract scammers, and new technology can be scary, but that doesn’t mean that danger lurks behind every corner. But sometimes, the community and the companies involved in crypto are the ones to blame. They are simply not as transparent as they should be. This is the reason why GRNGrid aims to spread crypto knowledge and is as transparent as possible. In addition, the GRN Association acts as a safeguard for GRNGrid to uphold these standards. Simply put, checking your sources and taking things in stride are the best pieces of advice for a crypto newbie.
Besides knowledge, another tricky thing from consumers’ perspective is usability. If they can’t use it in everyday situations, such as paying bills in stores or gas stations, you can’t expect to get many individuals on board. The same goes for companies.
Governments’ point of view
The most common question asked by someone entering the world of cryptocurrencies for the first time is: is it legal?
But the response to this question lies in the hands of your government. This means that the real question you should be asking yourself is — does your government see cryptocurrencies as legal?
There are many reasons state authorities might be reluctant to embrace crypto. Generally speaking, every time something new is introduced, there’s a lot of hassle from the legal side, lots of debates, laws writing and re-writing, and of course, waiting. All of that puts a strain on the budget and one of the most valuable resources in today’s world — time.
Also, the fear of fiat money (government-issued currency) losing its value doesn’t seem unreasonable in their eyes, as fiat’s power rests only on the faith and trust of the government that issued it. They fear that if people start predominantly using cryptocurrency, fiat will lose much of its power and, with it, the government.
Decentralization puts their influence and power to the test — and that’s not something a country’s government will welcome with open arms.
What’s interesting, though, is that some countries have secondary motives to undermine Bitcoin and other altcoins: just take China, for example. The PBoC (People’s Bank of China) is planning to launch its own digital currency, making it the first major bank to do so. The main reason behind this: more control. The state will keep a closer eye on transactions by offering people a digital alternative to the Chinese Yuan.
A growing number of businesses are seeing the benefits of introducing crypto as their payment method: it helps them access new demographic groups and simplifies money transfers, all the while ensuring their security. So, why aren’t more of them using crypto?
Well, we briefly touched upon the complexity of putting crypto in state laws — we all know that most countries’ laws are still written by a generation that sticks to its traditional ways. These individuals aren’t keen on losing their place in the hierarchy and don’t welcome changes with open arms.
Commons sense tells us that the authorities will have to give in and accept the facts, and then we’ll bear witness to their struggles to balance the needs of the state budget and their citizens’ well-being.
Once the legal perspective is implemented, many processes need to be implemented for companies to use cryptocurrencies in their daily operations efficiently. Bureaucratic apparatus is slow in almost every country in the world, so, at that point, it’ll be a game of patience and will of persistent entrepreneurs to fight through the tiresome and outdated processes and get what they want.
We’ve all heard that Bitcoin mining requires A LOT of energy: to be more precise, it annually consumes more electricity than Argentina. Due to its great popularity, many (wrongly) use Bitcoin as a synonym for all crypto, so naturally, all the “negative” sides related to Bitcoin stick to other cryptocurrencies. But the general public, those less familiar with this world, don’t know that the crazy energy consumption is associated with PoW (Proof of Work) cryptocurrencies.
Luckily, PoS (Proof of Stake) crypto’s consumption is significantly lower, which is one of the main improvements if we compare PoW and PoS mechanisms. Although energy consumption is not a problem for PoS, there are elements GRNGrid project aims to polish by introducing PoS2 (Proof of Stake v2). The biggest challenges with PoS are its staking model, whose simplicity makes it easier for the big players to manipulate, as well as scalability. PoS2 intends to give smaller validators a fair chance all the while staying secure and transparent. The three main points to remember about GRNGrid project are energy efficiency, high performance and low fees.
Switching to renewable sources of energy is inevitable, while carbon neutrality is another viable solution, at least for now. As “green” vocabulary is sometimes misused by companies, for those not sure what carbon neutrality is, it doesn’t mean that there is no CO2 emission but that that emission is balanced by removing an equal amount, e.g., by planting a particular number of trees.
Complex yet solvable
As with every complex subject, there’s no singular solution or response.
We have to simultaneously work across different fields to kick-start mass adoption.
A sustainable future is the only future for crypto. Raising awareness has already motivated the shift toward renewable energy sources, which might be the first step to busting myths around the widespread use of cryptocurrency.
Once the general public is well-informed and its interest encourages activity levels around different cryptocurrencies, the governments will finally cave in and back it up from the legal standpoint, making it easier for consumers to use crypto.
So, what’s stopping mass adoption? We are, by not being involved enough.
Join the community, spread the word, and be a reliable source to newcomers. All other elements will gradually fall into place. All we need is patience.