The first crypto winter is a period that exchanged the record-breaking times of 2017. Starting with 2018, more precisely February that year, the crypto prices took a tumble down. The winter slashed prices drastically and made the crypto field once again become grounded in reality.
Only a few months before, it was synonymous with get-rich-fast schemes that saw many so-called weekend traders enter this domain. They bought and sold whatever they could get their hands on, including lower-tier altcoins that have today practically vanished. But, once the slump began, they all exited the realm of crypto investing with their lone more or less lost in the slashing of 2018.
Today, the crypto spring that began dawning in 2019 is also over thanks to the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. As the stock markets and other traditional financial domains began to free fall, cryptocurrency markets aligned themselves with the same trend as well. Now, many are guessing that the crypto adoption rates are in total slumps with not many considering investing or trading in crypto this very turbulent and very worrying March. However, all of this might also offer a means for crypto to actually increase adoption rates in the long run.
The 2020 New Year also marked the start of the new decade. In it, the number of users of the internet rose further than ever before. As of January 2020, around 4.5 billion people around the globe were online. This is just shy of 60 percent of the entire global population. It also means that the internet is growing in influence for not just individual consumers but large economic entities, covering business and governments in equal measure.
The number also shows just how effectively the internet managed to embed itself in the everyday lives of individuals. From esports to social media and simple shopping, all manner of daily activities drastically expanded their presence in the online domain. Furthermore, the World Wide Web has grown faster than ever before than the rise of mobile devices. Now, members of the crypto community are pointing out an interesting trend that was likely there all along, but which is now growing in its visibility. According to it, the users of cryptocurrencies are also expanding alongside this global embrace of the internet and its connected technologies.
Projections of Crypto Acceptance
It is notoriously hard to measure and predict cryptocurrency acceptance in any given future period of time. In general, the process of adoption is constantly on the rise when it is measured in the number of new digital wallets. For example, people open up bitcoin wallets to use them for things like crypto gambling or other similar ventures. They also do it for things like getting loans in crypto or in case of unstable countries like Hong Kong or Venezuela, to protect their fiat assets in times of instability.
Yet, there are also metrics that showcase this is not a stable trend, as the number of active wallets. Furthermore, while initiatives like Lolli look for means to give cryptocurrency to ordinary fiat currency users and thus entice them to use their digital wallets, the process is not always that straightforward. Also, there is a constant drop of users who try out bitcoin to explain and simply forget about it.
Still, in spite of all of his, there are promising signs. Statista is estimating that mobile data traffic is going to go over 77 exabytes per month before the end of 2022. In 2017, this number was only 11.5 exabytes. All mobile device owners are much more likely to take on crypto wallets than any other internet user. Their numbers are growing faster than any other internet adoption metric, so this makes them a natural optimistic cohort of users that might start using crypto, regardless of all other circumstances.
Tech Before its Time
Often the issue with any kind of tech adoption is not just the notion of how useful it is, but whether or not it comes at the right moment. Video streaming is a great example. Long before YouTube got its start in 2005, there were the RealNetworks who offered this exact ability. However, the innovation occurred in an ecosystem that was not ready for it, especially in terms of broadband access. Without it, the possibility of watching videos online was not something many found appealing, in spite of them understanding the concept well enough.
The same could be happening in the crypto community. In the early years of the bitcoin network, people who possessed bitcoin were those who mined it using their own rigs. Back then, using it was not even an option because finding anyone else who does it would be hard. Today, using one BTC is something a person could do in a minute online, but procuring them is nowhere as easy as it was. All of this demands an ecosystem that is balanced just right so that the supply of services matches the demand for them. Bitcoin and digital services are gradually moving in that direction and the expansion of the internet is the basic means of how that happens.
Challenges worth 10 Years
There are numerous estimates, positive, negative and everything in-between how the adoption rates will behave in the next decade. Whatever they turn out to be, there will be many hurdles on the same road. These are technical to a degree, but they are mainly legal and regulatory. Going through or over these will not be a walk in the park, even if the events like the COVID-19 epidemic are taken out of the calculation.
In spite of the same hurdles, there is little doubt that the number of opportunities for crypto adoption is and will be there as well. The same applies to times of prosperity but also times of crisis, which is also a great showcase of the versatility of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. If those opportunities are taken on by the crypto community in the right way, millions of wallets can grow into billions before the end of the decade.