How is Crypto Adoption Spreading?
Do you remember the early days of the internet? When Alta Vista was king, when chatting with strangers was still novel, and when toxic comment sections hadn’t been invented just yet? Then in the blink of an eye, we had massive adoption and had to think hard about what life was like “before.”
Do you remember the early days of the smartphone? When mp3 players first had a phone function on them, and you could actually access the internet? Then in the blink of an eye, we had massive adoption and had to think hard about what life was like “before.”
Do you remember the early days of crypto? You should, because you’re living them right now.
This means that massive global adoption could be on the horizon, and while it’s impossible to guess exactly when, we can look at a few telling statistics to get a better idea of the Where, How, and Why.
Crypto adoption is happening all around us and is becoming a global phenomenon. While the rise of the internet had steady growth depending on the year, crypto’s growth has been outpacing it significantly, reaching over 100% yearly growth in 2021, and continuing to increase pace so far in 2022.
That said, some of the largest growth has come from countries that have emerging markets, such as Kenya, Nigeria, Vietnam, and Venezuela. Why these countries? There are likely a number of reasons, including limited access to traditional financial services, and perhaps in some cases a lack of faith in the existing banking structure. The case for this lack of faith is bolstered when the stats show how this growth is driven: through peer-to-peer (P2P) transactions. Without access to trustworthy or affordable centralized financing, people are making their voice heard by cutting out the middleman and showing the power of a DeFi environment.
More developed countries aren’t to be left out, however. A significant rise in crypto adoption has been seen across the board, with a rise in both centralized and DeFi services cited as a key driver. In these countries, crypto is seen as a major opportunity even if TradFi is available.
So how exactly is this adoption spreading? In the case of P2P traffic, there is some built-in growth by those who want to send crypto to someone without a wallet, and help the recipient to set one up and enter the crypto world. A Checkout.com survey captured some interesting data points that show how adoption is occurring elsewhere. 39% of consumers believe crypto should be used not only for investing but also for making purchases. Even more striking, a full 40% of consumers aged 18-35 intend to pay with crypto this year.
These trends are magnified in cases where an already successful platform decides to enter the crypto market. A key example of this is Bitcoin.com, hugely successful crypto news and education platform. The site has expanded continuously, becoming an exchange and wallet provider in order to not only educate users, but also bring them into the crypto fold. With their launch of native token VERSE, Bitcoin.com is bringing several key growth themes together. First, it incentivizes paying for its services with VERSE by providing discounts and rewards alike.
Second, it provides an on-ramp for those learning about crypto to jump in using well-produced how-to resources and guidance on what to do next. And third—and perhaps most importantly, their massive 29 million strong legions of followers, should even a fraction decide to purchase VERSE, will constitute a significant jump toward mainstream adoption. There is an adoption term called “gradually, then suddenly”, whereby once the adoption of a new technology reaches 8-10%, it tends to very quickly rocket skyward. This pattern took place with the adoption of both the internet and the smartphone. So far crypto is following a similar trendline.
Now that we know where this adoption wave is happening, and how so many new users are finding the crypto industry, it’s important to look for the WHY. And in this case, the previous sections have shed light on that as well. Users believe that crypto is much more than an investment tool, with the tech having utility well beyond buying and trading. Users are finding value in using and being rewarded with tokens from their favorite platforms. They also are planning to use crypto as another form of payment – which corporations are taking full notice of. About two-thirds of company executives are acknowledging that Web3 adoption will lead to changes in their business models.
With all that, the motivations for crypto adoption are clear. A better question might be, why are people not adopting crypto faster? The biggest answer, according to the Checkout.com survey, is a lack of regulation. While many countries have made their regulations of crypto clear, others are still deciding how best to handle this new business and financial model. Given this, as more and more governmental bodies finally put in writing how best to regulate crypto, even regulations that are more strict than desired will have a positive effect on crypto adoption, with a known set of rules the only element holding back the tidal wave of crypto adopters.
With these stats in hand, it’s time to grab a bag of popcorn, get comfortable, and get ready to watch a spectacular show. Adoption is on track to continue increasing, but once it hits that critical threshold, it’s going to skyrocket. Then in the blink of an eye, we’ll have massive adoption and will have to think hard about what life was like—“before.”