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Bitcoin may not yet be the world’s reserve currency, but it seems the tide is turning in favor of much wider adoption.
Many believe that Bitcoin already has reached a point of critical mass from which he will not return. Over the past decade, the world’s most popular cryptocurrency has cemented its popularity as a store of value, investment, alternative asset, and secure internet-based means of payment that knows no borders. It has come a long way and is already well beyond the point of subsistence, but the goal of mass adoption remains out of reach.
Since it was first introduced in a white paper by Satoshi Nakamoto in 2008, Bitcoin has grown and evolved to such an extent that the digital future of the world can now be reimagined. Nakamoto proposed that Bitcoin could serve as an “electronic payments system” capable of operating without permission. It was a revolutionary creation that has matured so much that today many believe the broader cryptocurrency market is slowly but surely decoupling from that of traditional finance to become a truly alternative form of currency. .
Bitcoin adoption has increased in virtually every country in the world. Not only is it recognized by forward-thinking enthusiasts in developed countries like the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, and Japan. These days, it has seen its adoption rapidly increase in emerging markets in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.
A recent study by Forrester Research on behalf of cryptocurrency exchange AAX found that Bitcoin adoption has skyrocketed over the past few years in emerging markets, and not just as a speculative investment like most users in West. On the contrary, Bitcoin enjoys increasingly widespread use as a store of value and a medium of exchange.
The findings of Forrester’s report were eye-opening. In the Middle East and Southeast Asia, Bitcoin is increasingly being adopted as a means of managing money. Due to its unique ability to escape broader macroeconomic conditions, Bitcoin has enabled consumers in these regions to become financially independent. As a result, it has increasingly been used as a store of value, with consumers relying on Bitcoin to preserve the value of their savings, invest with the aim of making gains, and protect against risky investments elsewhere.
Bitcoin has taken a slightly different path in Africa and Latin America, where it has also seen growing adoption. In these markets, a growing number of consumers are using Bitcoin as intended – they transact, use it to buy and sell goods and services, transfer money to friends and family, and more, according to the Forrester study.
Race to Global Adoption
Every Bitcoin fanatic’s big dream is that the cryptocurrency will one day establish itself as the world’s default currency, upsetting the likes of the US Dollar, Euro, British Pound and even the Stallion. -gold. It is hoped that the world will voluntarily switch to using Bitcoin as a means of everyday payment, rejecting traditional fiat currencies. Adherents say Bitcoin can be the foundation for a fairer, more transparent, and accessible financial system that governments won’t be able to manipulate. Additionally, Bitcoin is anti-deflationary, which means that consumers will not see their savings in their bank account deplete due to rising costs of goods and services.
For many people, this vision seems impossible to achieve. Despite its meteoric growth, Bitcoin still has millions of detractors who insist that it is just a gimmick or a fad, or even worse, accuse it of being some sort of money scam. Ponzi that will soon collapse.
However, there are reasons to believe in Bitcoin’s resilience, including growing fears that global fiat currencies will soon be hit by runaway inflation. If this happens, people are more likely to view Bitcoin as a more stable option for holding their funds.
Others believe that the upcoming launch of Central Bank Digital Currencies in major economies could help boost Bitcoin adoption. If governments around the world insist that people switch to digital cash and awareness of how it works increases, many consumers may see Bitcoin as a superior option due to its fixed supply and decentralized nature.
Then again, there could be other nations that choose to follow El Salvador’s path and adopt Bitcoin as their legitimate currency in order to evade the restrictions placed on them by bodies such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
Bitcoin education is key
Perhaps the most important driver of continued Bitcoin adoption will be education. As Benjamin Franklin, one of the founding fathers of the United States, once said, “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.”
This was certainly true for the early adopters of Bitcoin who scooped up hundreds of BTC at low prices and switched to become millionaires in clear terms.
Education is essential for adoption. By educating people about Bitcoin, the number of users can only grow, until it reaches a point where the network effect is unstoppable. To reach this point, people must first be aware that Bitcoin is a thing.
Although it may seem like most people are at least familiar with Bitcoin, there are still millions around the world who don’t know what it is and how it works. A February 2021 report from Crypto.com valued that there are approximately 100 million people in the world who own Bitcoin. That’s a staggering number, but still only a drop in the ocean compared to the world’s population of 7.9 billion. Less than 2% of the world’s population currently uses Bitcoin.
This means that there is still a lot of work to be done, and it is the responsibility of Bitcoin advocates to see it through.
As of now, Bitcoin is still in the very early stages of adoption. As with all new products and technologies, it is the responsibility of early adopters, or innovators, to teach others the value of Bitcoin and its practical applications. Those who use Bitcoin now will play a crucial role in encouraging others to start using it too.
The good news is that the Bitcoin community is already hard at work raising awareness. We’ve seen countless communities spring up around the world, with hundreds of media publications, podcasts, and influencers all dedicated to educating the masses about what Bitcoin is and the value it can bring. . Most crypto firms also play their part. For example, cryptocurrency exchanges like Coinbase provide a learning platform which allows users to learn more about Bitcoin and other tokens and earn rewards for doing so. Then there are others, like AAX, with its AAX Academy which provides continuous overview on the latest trends and happenings in the crypto industry.
These efforts are helping millions of people better understand Bitcoin and crypto, but more effort is needed if we are to achieve mass adoption. From simple topics like creating and using a Bitcoin wallet to understanding how financial derivatives work on the Bitcoin Lightning Network, there is still a lot to learn.
One of the best ways to accelerate Bitcoin adoption is to bring education to the masses. Courses on how Bitcoin works and the potential positive impacts it can have on society should be offered in schools and universities. Children, who are just beginning to understand how money and the economy work, should learn that there is an alternative and potentially superior system based on the idea of decentralization.
Teaching the Impact of Bitcoin
Moreover, Bitcoin should not only be positioned as a speculative investment that can make people rich. Rather, education should focus on the impact Bitcoin can have on society as a whole. Making money is great, but changing the world and distributing the wealth more equally would be a much better achievement.
In a recent post on AAX Insights, AAX Head of Research and Strategy, Ben Caselin strong points the real impact Bitcoin is having on emerging markets around the world and changing people’s lives for the better. One of the main benefits people see in Bitcoin is its usefulness as a safeguard against oppressive governments, Caselin said. Those who are persecuted can easily be excluded from the traditional banking system. With Bitcoin, this is no longer possible, which means it can serve as a tool to maintain financial autonomy.
At the same time, digital assets can be moved anywhere in the world easily and almost instantly. All it takes is for someone to remember their 12-word seed phrase and be able to access their Bitcoin funds from anywhere via an internet-connected device.
“At a basic level, Bitcoin is meant to restore freedom, enhance personal agency, and provide protection against tyranny,” Caselin said.
Over the past few years, we’ve seen all kinds of reports about how institutional investors are buying Bitcoin, how big companies like Tesla are accepting it for payment, and how merchants are making millions through complex mechanisms by trading Bitcoin. spot price. These kinds of stories are encouraging and help promote Bitcoin, no doubt, but it’s the education about the real use cases that will make the difference.
We need to educate immigrants in Europe who send money home to their families in Benin, and households in Venezuela who use Bitcoin to protect their savings against the hyperinflation that people really need to hear about. These are the stories that show the real and positive effect Bitcoin has on the world.
As Caselin says, “impact will lead to adoption”.