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Bitcoin may be unprepared to support people during economic crises

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Bitcoin reaching its all-time high of $20,000 in December 2017 and mainstream media outlets discussing Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in recent times– these events have sort-of made the narrative of ‘mass crypto-adoption in a decade’ stronger. And yet, the topic is still being debated over.

That said, many people in the community are of the opinion that Bitcoin adoption will eventually reach a dead end. Christopher Allen, former Principal Architect at Blockstream, had stated that the need for scaling solutions like the Lightning Network might be the reason for Bitcoin’s lack of adoption. In fact, eToro CEO Yoni Assia also noted in an interview that the crypto-community should be concerned by the ability of the government to slow down the adoption of crypto through regulations.

However, a recent VanEck report hinted that Bitcoin adoption could be on the rise. It revealed that in spite of concerns with regard to crypto and its exchanges, market statistics are on a healthy side and Bitcoin and other crypto-assets are becoming more and more available to retail investors lately.

Interestingly, Andreas M. Antonopoulos, a popular proponent of Bitcoin, is the latest to comment on this topic. In a recent interview, Antonopoulos noted that mass crypto-adoption is not going to happen in the way most people think, but asserted that adoption would definitely give people a choice to have an alternative online currency.

Explaining the same, he stated,

“[….]people in Western developed nations using crypto to buy Starbucks is not the primary market need. There’s a market of 6 billion people who desperately need an alternative currency. According to the latest statistics, more than 50% of the world’s population now lives on dictatorship, or totalitarian machines. They need this technology far more than the average westerner.”

With that, he declared that mass crypto-adoption isn’t really retail purchases with crypto because one could easily do that, especially in developed countries with the tools they already have. 

In other news, cryptocurrency price surge is another topic that has been making waves lately. Recent U.S-Iran tensions and the Coronavirus outbreak have all resulted in Bitcoin’s price going up, something that has also contributed to the narrative of Bitcoin being a ‘safe-haven’ asset. 

In fact, reports have also suggested that developing countries are now looking at Bitcoin as a reliable alternative. Perianne Boring, Founder of the U.S Digital Chamber of Commerce, also noted in an interview that Bitcoin is indeed a reliable alternative during global uncertainty.

Around the same lines, during the course of the interview, Antonopoulos was asked if Bitcoin needed a global crisis to truly succeed all the time? Responding to the question, Antonopoulos said that the world is already on the verge of a big economic crisis. However, he stated that Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency, on its own, is not yet ready to serve as a helping hand to people.

To this, Antonopoulos was again asked if he saw a light somewhere down the tunnel, a future where cryptocurrency could actually be able to support people during an economic crisis. Antonopoulos responded by noting that the future cryptocurrency indeed had a bright future as the future of finance worldwide is going to be decentralized, based on the open protocols and open systems. He added that open financial systems are more efficient as they are more equitable, transparent, and would help solve all the scaling problems.

He added,

“[….] (Protocols) can reach everyone with a reduction in the needs to authorize and instead build security mechanisms that do not depend on effecting but depends in the kind of game theory that we see in proof of work and proof of stake systems and other consensus algorithms that might emerge. The future of finance is open, decentralized finance and it will help bring the whole of humanity into an economic system that everyone can access.”

However, while declaring that decentralization in finance is something that would happen in a few years, he stated that it is not going to come easy. “Central governments will fight tooth and nail to not let this happen and preserve the power even at the expense of their own people,” he noted.


A Psychology and Journalism graduate, Rakshitha focuses on UK and Indian markets. As a crypto-journalist, her interests lie in blockchain technology adoption across emerging economies.
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