Cryptocurrencies have yet to garner mass adoption, that’s for sure. As it stands, less than 1% of the world’s population actively uses blockchain technologies, whether it be for Bitcoin transactions, Ethereum smart contracting, supply chain management, or what have you. But, some pundits are sure that there will be an event that will catapult crypto assets to a mainstream audience, thereby ensuring that this is more than just a passing fad in the public eye.
Crypto Isn’t As Ubiquitous As WiFi… Obviously
In a recent interview with Cheddar, Charles Hoskinson, who has played key roles in Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Cardano, called this hypothetical happening a “WiFi or Bluetooth moment.” He explained that the crypto and blockchain space needs such a moment, but “we haven’t gotten there just yet.”
On the matter of the importance of such an event, Hoskinson explains his analogy: When you travel across the world, whether it be Japan, Korea, South Africa, or effectively wherever else, consumers are conditioned to pull out their phone in a bid to connect WiFi. The head of Input Output, a blockchain development firm that primarily works on Cardano and Ethereum Classic, noted that the ubiquity of WiFi, not another information sharing system, was “due to the hard work of an entire industry” rather than sheer luck.
On the floor of the NYSE waiting for a cheddar interview pic.twitter.com/htZZGlOjOK
— Charles Hoskinson (@IOHK_Charles) March 28, 2019
And thus, he explains that with Cardano’s work with sidechains and Proof of Stake, along with similar initiatives from companies like Ripple, blockchain “standards” will converge over the next three to five years, which will create an interoperable web of chains that allows for the permissionless transfer of data and value. While this dream sounds lofty, Hoskinson explains that it can be done through development and pragmatism, the latter of which would be a controversial point as there are many maximalists its crypto camps, especially in regards to Bitcoin.
In other words, through the continual development of these nascent technologies, coupled with the maintenance of a global mindset, the infrastructure will eventually be set in place for the mass adoption of crypto assets, “even for the farmer in Africa.”
Adoption Is Around The Corner?
While it isn’t clear what the singular event will be that will cement Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies’ real-world viability in the history books, or blockchain if you will, adoption is slowly showing its face more and more. Here’s a list of recent adoption events:
- Kakao May Bring Crypto Wallet Services To Millions Of South Koreans: Media outlet Financial News (FnNews) reports that the 44 million users of South Korean social media firm Kakao’s flagship product, popular messaging platform KakaoTalk, will soon be directly exposed to digital assets, like Bitcoin. Speaking to the news portal, an array of industry insiders, who are purportedly working with the Jeju-based company, remarked that KakaoTalk will see use as a “crypto wallet,” giving millions of South Koreans the ability to interact with an array of blockchain ecosystems. The FnNews report claims that utilizing the application will be as easy as sending a message, allowing users to send or request for cryptocurrencies with a few clicks, thus reducing the barrier to entry.
- Facebook Embarks On Blockchain Hiring Spree: According to a report from The Next Web’s Hard Fork column, there are two dozen crypto- and blockchain-related jobs currently listed on Facebook’s official careers portal. The roles listed include two Product Managers, a Finance Analyst, a Data Scientist, a Threat Investigator, and here’s an interesting one, a Director of Technical Account and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Reporting. All roles are either based in the firm’s Menlo Park headquarters, in a Washington D.C. office, or another location in Tel Aviv. This comes as hearsay suggests that the social media giant has entered discussions with crypto exchanges for the listing of the so-called ‘FBCoin.’ As reported by BlockGeeks previously, pundits like Binance’s Changpeng Zhao explain that while this venture may be centralized, “the more people [that] adopt crypto, the better. Adoption is adoption.”
- Bakkt May Allow Starbucks To Accept Bitcoin For Lattes: Per an exclusive report from The Block, which cited sources familiar with dealings, Starbucks may be launching support for digital asset payments in the coming months. The Block founder Mike Dudas took to Twitter to divulge the news, remarking that Starbucks received a significant stake in Bakkt, a crypto startup headed by the Intercontinental Exchange, in exchange for “commitment to allow Bitcoin payments in store in 2019.” Bakkt’s software will purportedly facilitate these payments, which will be instantly converted from cryptocurrencies into fiat currencies.
Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash
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