Why aren’t more people buying bitcoin? You might have asked yourself, especially in the course of the long horrendous bear market since mid-2017. You might think all the upsides of the Bitcoin network such as it’s immutable, it’s decentralized, it’s tamper-proof, it’s going to the moon someday, and everyone is going to use it.
The main reasons can be boiled down into six reasons:
- Bitcoin and cryptocurrency are perceived to be too risky — Due to the historically high volatility, the cryptocurrency market is simply perceived to be too much of a risky play. Cryptocurrency exchanges are still a headache due to unworthiness and lack of security.
- People do not know how cryptocurrencies work — Most people can’t differentiate between blockchain and cryptocurrency. They can’t understand the technology backing cryptocurrency that may disrupt multiple industries.
- Cryptocurrency regulation — Countries are trying to figure out the best way to define and regulate cryptocurrency. The United States is still figuring out the best way to make cryptocurrency legal while preventing criminal activities. Canada has taxed them since 2013, and more regulation is on the way. Japan is leading the way with its strict regulations to balance between consumer protection and technology innovation.
- Too difficult or complicated to buy — There is still a pretty high barrier to enter compared to other payment methods (credit cards, Apple Pay, PayPal, etc.). If the current payment methods are working so well, what is the need of cryptocurrency?
- Negative stories — There have been too many hacks towards cryptocurrency exchanges, public blockchain, and crypto wallets. All of these lead people to have a negative perspective on cryptocurrency. Also, there are too many ICO scams.
- Little use case in its current state
We have yet to see a dApp that solves a real-world problem explicitly except for the Bitcoin network. Most dApp out there are just games that can be created 30 years ago, with the only difference that they are running on the blockchain.
Education and Time Can Solve Them All
Primarily people perceive cryptocurrency as unworthy (at the current stage) and risky. Their misconceptions are just a matter of lacking education. With education, it would address their lack of knowledge of how cryptocurrencies work. It would address how to buy cryptocurrencies. It would address their perceptions like negative stories. Many of these could be solved by proper education.
Other key factors, like too risky to buy and not regulated, can and will be addressed simply with a matter of time. The current cryptocurrency market is relatively small. Imagine if the SEC has approved bitcoin ETF, millions will pour into the cryptocurrency market. With such a vast market, the price would not be as volatile. In terms of regulation, we know that eventually there’s going to be bitcoin ETF and ethereum ETF. There’s going to be all different ways for people to have safe and reliable trusted exposure to cryptocurrency in some way. Countries have slowly set regulations on how to tax cryptocurrency and legally use cryptocurrency.
In terms of lacking use cases, the word “artificial intelligence” first appeared at the Dartmouth University conference in 1956. Professor Minsky from MIT, who co-founded MIT AI Lab, said at the time of the conference that
“the problem of creating ‘artificial intelligence’ will be solved within ten years.”
In truth, the AI industry didn’t explode until the mid-2000s when companies like Facebook and Google surrounding their business models around AIs. Back to the blockchain, Bitcoin, launched in 2009, is the first ever blockchain application. It wasn’t until 2015 that blockchain started to gain more traction. Then, with the rise of cryptocurrency scam from 2016 to 2017, blockchain began to receive attention from governments and enterprises. It is only the beginning, and we will see more and more applications in the coming years.
All of the factors on why aren’t more people buying bitcoin are addressable. Education, time, and regulations will remove the obstacles and hurdles for people to get hold of bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. Overall, even though there are a lot of reasons given why people aren’t buying cryptocurrency right now, these will pretty much all be addressed in good time. There’s nothing up there to see why more people won’t adopt cryptocurrencies heading into the future.