The unprecedented growing popularity of cryptocurrency, the increased use-case of blockchain, and the evident failures of centralized financial systems make it rather clear that mass crypto adoption is only a matter of time. It’s difficult to determine an exact timeline, but it is inevitable, and there are clear advantages to familiarizing oneself with cryptocurrency before it reaches mass adoption.
Early adopters of cryptocurrency, much like early adopters of the internet, will have an advantage over later ones. Therefore, it is important to identify where we currently stand in the adoption cycle of cryptocurrencies, draw from past analogies to spot current trends to invest in and understand why the mass adoption of cryptocurrency is certain.
The state of crypto adoption in 2023
Crypto research and education firm HedgewithCrypto recently conducted a study to determine the countries that have adopted cryptocurrency the most over the past three years. The research defined adoption based on a number of factors, including the number of crypto ATMs, population acceptance rate, online interest in crypto, and pro-crypto legislation.
According to the study, Australia was ranked first in crypto adoption, followed by the US, Brazil, the UAE, Hong Kong, Taiwan, India, Canada, Turkey, and Singapore. The percentage of Australians using cryptocurrency has more than doubled since 2020, with an 18% adoption rate. There has also been a 196% increase in Google searches for crypto in Australia since 2020.
The US comes in second due to its large number of crypto ATMs, which exceeds 33,000 nationwide. Brazil takes third place, showing a massive increase in searches and the introduction of pro-crypto legislation.
Based on the number of crypto ATMs, the US is the clear winner, followed by Canada. When analyzing crypto adoption rate percentage over the past three years, Turkey ranks first, followed by the UAE.
|Country||Population Ownership Percentage|
|United Arab Emirates||27.67%|
As of March 2023, about 3.47% of the world’s population owns some form of cryptocurrency. This may not seem like a huge number, but considering the rapid growth in adoption, it is a promising sign for the future of digital assets. When it comes to age demographics, it appears that younger individuals are more likely to invest in cryptocurrencies. Other studies have shown that individuals between the ages of 25 and 34 are the most likely to own crypto, followed by those in the 18-24 age bracket.
Many major brands have taken the leap, embracing the potential of crypto and blockchain and integrating it into their operations. Gucci, Balenciaga, and Farfetch, to name a few, have started accepting cryptocurrency payments. This adoption by high-end retailers highlights the growing demand for digital currencies in the luxury market, with consumers increasingly seeking alternative payment methods that offer convenience, transparency, and security.
Crypto regulations are becoming clearer
Policymakers in the United States have begun to regulate cryptocurrencies and the nascent DeFi business. However, because cryptocurrencies do not fit easily within the present legislative system, politicians must resolve the resultant uncertainty. Gary Gensler, head of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), refers to the cryptocurrency sector as a “Wild West” and asked Congress to give the SEC more jurisdiction.
Stronger rules for stablecoins have been called for by Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen. Despite this, authorities have been hesitant to provide crypto investors with the same safeguards as those provided in more traditional finance, such as deposit insurance.
Christopher J. Waller, a governor of the Federal Reserve Board, cautioned that taxpayers should not be expected to bear the losses of crypto investors in the event that crypto assets become worthless. To curb illicit activities, authorities have targeted exchanges that allow users to convert cryptocurrencies into national currencies such as the U.S. dollar. Major exchanges such as Coinbase, Binance, and Gemini have agreed to adhere to anti-money laundering and “know your customer” rules in response to regulatory pressure.
By utilizing blockchain technology to analyze and track criminal activity, law enforcement and intelligence agencies have learned to exploit the traceability of most cryptocurrencies. For example, the FBI was able to recover some of the ransom paid to the Colonial Pipeline hackers. In August 2022, the U.S. Treasury Department announced a crackdown on so-called “cryptocurrency mixers,” which allow criminals to anonymize transactions on the blockchain and are considered a “threat to U.S. national security.”
China, which is responsible for the majority of Bitcoin mining globally, has taken aggressive measures to clamp down on cryptocurrencies. In September 2021, the Chinese government declared a comprehensive ban on all cryptocurrency transactions and mining, causing the value of certain cryptocurrencies to plummet in the immediate aftermath. According to the U.S. Law Library of Congress, eight other countries (Algeria, Bangladesh, Egypt, Iraq, Morocco, Nepal, Qatar, and Tunisia) have banned cryptocurrencies, while dozens of others have sought to limit the adoption of digital assets. Despite this, most governments have adopted a relatively limited approach.
Central banks are entering the digital assets scene with CDBC
Central banks, including the U.S. Federal Reserve, are considering the implementation of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) as a means of asserting their sovereignty. CBDCs are digital cash issued by central banks that offer the benefits of cryptocurrency, such as speed, without the associated risks. Over 90 percent of the global economy is represented by dozens of countries exploring CBDCs, with eleven having already launched CBDCs.
The majority of these countries are lower-income, with ten located in the Caribbean, while Nigeria is the eleventh. China, which piloted a digital yuan in 2019, is planning to expand its CBDC pilot program to its population of over one billion by the end of 2023. There is reportedly some disagreement among Fed officials in the United States over the need for a digital dollar.
Experts suggest that interest in CBDCs intensified in 2019 when Facebook announced the creation of its own digital currency, Libra (since renamed Diem), potentially providing a new payment option for its over two billion users. China is another major factor behind the surge in interest in CBDCs, as a digital yuan could increase Beijing’s control over its economy and citizens and pose a threat to the U.S. dollar’s status as the preferred international reserve currency.
Governments are developing their own digital currencies known as CBDCs (Central Bank Digital Currencies), regardless of the future of cryptocurrencies. Although they may be introduced in the coming decade, it is likely that a certain level of digital proficiency will be required before they can be widely implemented. This underscores the importance of acquiring knowledge about digital currency for both individuals and businesses.
While cryptocurrencies and CBDCs may have different characteristics, many of the fundamental concepts may be similar. For example, instead of physically retrieving paper bills from a wallet, transactions will probably be made using a digital wallet on a smartphone. Similar to cryptocurrencies, independent financial technologies are likely to be built around CBDCs rather than within traditional financial institutions such as banks.
The crypto future is bright
The cryptocurrency market has evolved swiftly over the years, and although some may consider it a mature industry, many believe it is still in its early phases of growth. Despite the huge value of cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin and ethereum, new data indicates that the industry has not yet reached saturation and that there is still tremendous opportunity for development.
In recent years, new advancements in space have piqued the attention of individuals from all walks of life all around the world. The advent of non-fungible tokens (NFTs), for example, has taken the globe by storm, particularly in the Philippines. NFTs are indivisible digital assets that cannot be reproduced, making them valuable in and of themselves. NFTs have been used by artists, singers, and even sportsmen to sell their work and memorabilia, resulting in a market boom.
Furthermore, cryptocurrencies are gradually being incorporated into everyday transactions. El Salvadorans, for example, have used the bitcoin lightning network for ordinary activities such as grocery shopping and bill payment. The usage of cryptocurrencies in daily transactions demonstrates their rising acceptability and appeal in many regions of the world.
Some comments from crypto influencers on crypto mass adoption
The crypto space is growing more and more each day, with adoption on the rise and more people investing in digital assets than ever before. If you’re looking for an expert opinion on whether mass crypto adoption is just around the corner, then these top analysts and influencers are sure to provide some valuable insight:
• Meltem Demirors – Chief Strategy Officer at CoinShares, Meltem has a track record of predicting cryptocurrency trends correctly over the past few years. She regularly provides her thoughts on YouTube, Twitter and other media outlets.
• Nick Szabo – An American computer scientist and cryptographer, Nick Szabo is one of the creators behind Smart Contracts technology. He also authored some of the earliest works on the concept of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. His vast experience in cryptography makes him a trusted source when it comes to providing insights on mass crypto adoption.
• Aviv Zohar – Professor at Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Computer Science department, Aviv Zohar has been researching blockchain technologies since 2009. He’s considered one of the foremost experts in scalability solutions and regularly provides his views on trending topics within the cryptosphere.
• David Schlosberg – CEO of Protocol Ventures, David Schlosberg has been active in the crypto space since 2017. His portfolio consists of a variety of investments ranging from distributed ledger technology startups to decentralized applications (dapps). He’s widely recognized as one of the pre-eminent minds when it comes to understanding where cryptocurrency markets are heading next.
• Caitlin Long – A veteran Wall Street trader and Forbes contributor, Caitlin Long often shares her opinions on mainstream financial news platforms such as CNBC or Bloomberg TV about potential use cases for blockchain technologies going forward. Her well-rounded knowledge base makes her one of the most credible voices among today’s crypto influencers.
With so many experienced professionals offering their own insights into mass crypto adoption being just around the corner, it appears that this space is certainly ready for another wave of innovation should investor sentiment continue its current upward trend over time.
The cryptocurrency industry has come a long way since its inception and continues to evolve at an unprecedented pace. With new innovations emerging every year, it is likely that the market will continue to expand, and more people will be drawn to cryptocurrencies and their potential benefits.
What is the likelihood of mass crypto adoption in the next 5-10 years?
The likelihood of mass crypto adoption in the next 5-10 years is uncertain, but some experts predict a significant increase in adoption rates.
What factors are driving crypto adoption?
The factors driving crypto adoption include increasing awareness, the potential for financial gain, the promise of a decentralized financial system, and the ease of use and accessibility of cryptocurrencies.
What are the benefits of crypto adoption?
The benefits of crypto adoption include faster and cheaper cross-border transactions, financial inclusivity for the unbanked population, and the potential for higher returns on investments.
What challenges are preventing crypto adoption?
The challenges preventing crypto adoption include regulatory uncertainty, security concerns, limited scalability, and lack of public trust and awareness.
What needs to happen for mass crypto adoption to occur?
For mass crypto adoption to occur, there needs to be more regulatory clarity and stability, improved security measures, increased scalability and efficiency, better public education and trust-building efforts, and more widespread acceptance of cryptocurrencies as a legitimate asset class.