What The Future Holds for Cryptocurrency
The world of cryptocurrency started in 2009 when Bitcoin was first created. For several years, there was much speculation regarding this new currency, with the majority of people believing it was a scam. As a result, in 2010 its value plummeted to $0.08. This all changed in 2013 when Bitcoin increased to $220. By the end of the year, it was worth $1,156.10, though this decreased to £315 two years later. Despite these fluctuations, it gained the attention of several investors and tech experts who started to ask the big question: could cryptocurrency be the future of our financial system?
Since being founded just over a decade ago, over 10,000 new cryptocurrencies have followed in Bitcoins footsteps. These include popular stablecoins such as Ethereum and Binance Token to altcoins such as Dogecoin and Shiba Inu. But the question still remains, what will the future be for cryptocurrency?
When Will Cryptocurrency Become Mainstream?
10 years ago, cryptocurrency was unknown to most people. Few people had ever heard of Bitcoin and those who had believed it was some sort of digital scam. However, today it’s recognised as a somewhat stable currency and a great investment for many people- with some believing it’s become the gold of the 21st century. But to what extent is it a mainstream currency?
As of December 2021, it’s estimated that around 15,000 businesses around the world accept cryptocurrency as a payment method. These include several top companies such as PayPal, Visa, Microsoft and Tesla (kind of). Earlier in the year, Tesla invested a total of $1.5 billion into cryptocurrency, with its founder, Elon Musk, becoming a ‘leader’ in the crypto industry. He famously accepted Dogecoin and Bitcoin for Tesla vehicles and is well known for his tweets about the industry. PayPal is also an early adopter of cryptocurrency, with the company believing cryptocurrency will make cross border payments easier than ever before. The platform allows users to make transactions using Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Bitcoin Cash. However, the platform has been criticised for not letting users transfer cryptocurrency into a private wallet.
Cryptocurrency has also been adopted one step further, with several countries using it as legal tender. These countries include El Salvador, Paraguay and Venezuela. Within these countries, paying with cryptocurrency has become a new norm, with businesses and people using digital wallets throughout their day to day lives. Though this mass adoption has so far been extremely successful, most other countries have not yet followed. Nonetheless, it’s a sign of how crypto can be adopted on a mass scale.
Future Cryptocurrency Applications
With cryptocurrency being somewhat accepted by mainstream businesses and governments, its potential applications have now grown exponentially. In 2021, we have seen the rise of several new blockchain orientated products, from Non Fungible Tokens (NFTs) and the Metaverse to crypto gaming and play to earn functions. NFTs in particular, has been a highlight in the media, with collections selling for millions overnight. These pieces of digital art have become prominent in not just the world of cryptocurrency, but also the world of influencers. Collections such as Bored Ape Yacht Club and Crypto Punks have been popular with Visa (the credit card company) even buying into a collection.
Another potential application for cryptocurrencies is in charity work. In November 2021, a new altcoin, Little Baby Doge ($LBD), was the first cryptocurrency to make a bold new move: to merge the world of cryptocurrency and charity. They achieved a successful initial launch, reaching almost 5000 unique holders in only a day. Now they’re showing how cryptocurrency can help us fight against global warming. Whilst working with several climate change influencers, the project is helping fund charities around the world. Such charities include Water.org, in which they donated $20,000. They have big plans for the future, aiming to support thousands of climate change charities, whilst working with top influencers such as Greta Thunberg and Leonardo DeCaprio.
Cryptocurrency has also made huge developments in the world of gaming. Gaming is currently a $90 billion industry, with most people playing games for entertainment. However, advancements in cryptocurrency and the metaverse have created a whole new model: play to earn. Several new games, including Decentraland (MANA) and The Sandbox (SAND) allow players to earn cryptocurrency whilst playing the game. This cryptocurrency can be used to purchase in-game land, which can then be sold at a profit. Though this concept is still in early development, it has huge potential to revolutionise gaming in the future.
Cryptocurrency is Developing but Still Has A Long Way to go
In 2021 cryptocurrency has become more mainstream than ever. Large corporations are now accepting it for payments, governments are acknowledging its use, and more people are investing than ever before. As a result, cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum have risen to all-time highs, and altcoins have made investors millionaires overnight. This being said, cryptocurrency still has a long way to go.
One of the biggest problems in the industry is scams. While the majority of cryptocurrencies are legit, 1000’s of people still get scammed out of their money every day. The latest big scam, $SQUID, was a reminder of how easily that can happen. The project owners ‘rugged’ the project after initial investments were made. In other words, they took all the currency they had for profit, letting investors lose all their money in the process. In addition to this, there are many scams in the NFT world, with fake collections constantly being created on top sites such as OpenSea. This makes many people question the legitimacy of cryptocurrency and prevents it from being adopted on a mass scale.
Despite the downside, cryptocurrency has come a long way in less than a decade. It’s gone from being valued at less than a dollar to one of the most valuable assets on the planet. It’s also become the fastest growing asset and thus a great investment for businesses, governments and investors. As the industry continues to grow, and with it its applications, it’s possible that one day we may all be working in a world where cryptocurrency is the new form of transaction.Source