Cryptocurrency has been around since Bitcoin first hit the market in 2009, but it doesn’t appear to be any closer to becoming mainstream than it did when it first arrived. In fact, many people are still in awe of it. You can’t touch it, see it, house it in your physical wallet or use it at the grocery store, so how could it ever become entrenched in everyday society?
Then there’s the complicated process in how its creation. While everyone knows that fiat currency is manufactured, how on earth does a digital coin become a tradeable item? It’s no wonder that much of the general public won’t go near it.
While many people are screaming out for the day they can pull up at a gas station and transfer ownership of Bitcoin to the attendant, it seems like at least for now, this is a far-off reality. Here are just four of the many reasons why cryptocurrency will probably never become mainstream.
Its value is too volatile
While over 100,000 merchants worldwide accept cryptocurrency as a form of payment, it’s typically only for high-end items like luxury cars and condos. Even then, corporations must be on the edge of their seat as they accept Bitcoin in exchange for a Lamborghini. After all, who’s to say the value won’t plummet by the thousands as soon as the car leaves the lot?
Its volatile value is just one reason why cryptocurrency may never become a mainstream payment method. Imagine going into your local grocery store, purchasing $200 worth of groceries then paying with $200 worth of Bitcoin. Then, by the time you load the groceries into your car, the value of that Bitcoin has dropped by half. The grocery store has then only received $100 for $200 worth of items. While they can wait for that value to rise again, it’s not a convenient solution. The market fluctuates significantly day to day, so being able to keep track of this as a business owner would be a logistical nightmare.
The legalities are hard to follow
Even though cryptocurrency has been around for nine years, it’s still a gray area regarding legalities. Knowing how to pay tax, what to class it as, and what cryptocurrency falls under in any country is quite tricky. In some countries, it’s classed as an asset, while in others it’s legally recognized as income.
If you plan on accepting cryptocurrency as a form of payment for your business, or you’re even considering investing in it or paying for goods with it, you have to be prepared to do your homework. Ignorance is not enough to get you off the hook should you fail to follow the complex and intricate laws surrounding its use.
It’s not straightforward
Even when the price of Bitcoin was skyrocketing and making money was almost guaranteed, the entire world wasn’t rushing to get a piece of the action. This is an absurd notion given the fact that you could quickly make money every day. However, the reason for this is because it’s not a natural process for everyone. Cryptocurrency, blockchain networks, smart contracts, everything associated with cryptocurrency is not straightforward. You have to worry about remembering passwords for digital wallets, knowing how to read graphs and market data, and then having the knowledge to know when to hold or fold.
For most people, the fear of the unknown was enough to decide not to invest in something that, at one time, was a sure thing. There is too much safety in fiat currency for people to want to try something new. You can see and hold fiat currency, put it in your wallet, and see it on your bank statement. Trying something new is, for some people, a little too tricky.
Countries are banning it
There is a long list of countries banning the use of cryptocurrency, so the chances of it going mainstream are only getting smaller. In fact, its use is typically only becoming more “mainstream” in the dark underbelly of the criminal world. Russia and China are just two of the many key world players who are either restricting or banning its use. While it’s actively encouraged in many other countries, it’s just as equally limited in others. Therefore, how can you expect something to be widely used when governments are making it harder and harder to access?
There is no reason why cryptocurrency can’t become more widely used than it ever has before. After all, it’s a given that people are becoming more technologically-savvy in both mining and investing. However, with so many barriers standing in the way of making it mainstream, it’s improbable that we’ll see it become commonplace in our lifetime.