2021 had us all fooled. Most of us probably figured crypto was going mainstream and “only up” was just a way of life. It was so easy to get caught up in the hype and euphoria. But things have a funny way of turning out… Bitcoin (BTC) had surged to an all-time high (ATH) of $68,721, and the first Bitcoin ETFs were being created. Ether (ETH), on the other hand, gained $443% in one year to reach an ATH of $4,891. And with most investors bullish on all kinds of crypto assets, the global market cap crossed the . Crypto’s time had finally arrived, or so the world thought. cryptocurrency $3 trillion mark In the two years since, crypto has yet to go mainstream. It has, on the contrary, been rocked by storms that have plummeted the value of crypto assets and wiped billions of dollars in value, from dramatic collapses and bankruptcies to government lawsuits and criminal charges. And now, with public confidence in cryptocurrencies low, it might look like crypto is dead. But is it? No, Crypto Is Not Dead Cryptocurrencies are not dead. The bear market might have stretched longer than many would’ve liked, but crypto is still alive. Think back to the of the late 90s, which parallels the crypto market in many ways. The era saw investor enthusiasm for the future of the Internet (and its potential to revolutionize the world) cause rapid growth in stock market valuations of Internet-based companies. dotcom era Investors eagerly invested in any company with a website or ‘.com’ in its name, paying little regard to its profitability. This created a bubble in which many companies were over-valued. The bubble would peak in early 2000 before bursting almost immediately as investors began to doubt whether these companies would really deliver. Parallels With the Dotcom Era Much like the dotcom market, the 2021 crypto bull run was fueled by enthusiasm for cryptocurrencies and the potential of blockchain technology to change the world. And seeing crypto valuations rise, FOMO drove investors to invest in crypto assets with little regard to utility, creating what many considered to be a bubble. The bubble began to burst in early 2022. That year would be marked by the collapse of several crypto institutions. The most notable suspects were Terra and FTX at the beginning and end of the year, respectively. These, and the resulting fallout, naturally caused many people to doubt the future of crypto and shy from investing or adopting it. But just like the internet before it, the ‘bursting’ of this bubble doesn’t signal the demise of the technology. The internet still went on to achieve mass adoption and change the world. Today, as most dotcom investors had predicted, internet technology has been widely adopted. It has shaped and continues to shape the world. Note that it didn’t just happen. The internet getting where it is today was a process. And throughout this process, a lot had to change. Only those companies that had the proper business models and infrastructure were able to adapt and survive. Similarly, cryptocurrencies are not dead. The potential of blockchain technology and digital currency is, in fact, more apparent than ever. Crypto prices have increased over the past year, companies around the world are finding ways to integrate blockchain into their operations, and a number of big . financial institutions are looking to get into Bitcoin ETFs That may not immediately change the mainstream opinion on cryptocurrencies – volatile assets operating in the Wild West of financial markets – but it's a positive sign. Crypto is very much alive. However, there are things that still need to change in order to shift the public perception of cryptocurrencies in the right direction. Things Needed for Crypto Mass Adoption The industry will need four things for mass adoption: Clearer Regulation The crypto space has lacked clear regulation for much of its existence. The resulting lack of oversight has given fraudsters and scammers free range in the crypto market, and a lack of investor protection means it is investors who bear the brunt of any and all consequences. This scares off a lot of would-be users. If the situation is to change, clearer and more comprehensive regulatory frameworks are needed. Strong regulation will protect investors, promote financial stability, and prevent financial crimes from taking place in the crypto space. Fortunately, there are steps being taken towards this. In April 2023, the European Parliament passed the most comprehensive crypto regulation. Called the , it's scheduled to come into effect in 2024. The US Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) and other jurisdictions around the world are also working on their own bodies of law for crypto. Markets in Crypto Act (MiCA) Better Education Education is important for the adoption of any new technology. This is because people can only believe in and embrace something they understand. A confused mind always says no. There is currently no shortage of information on cryptocurrencies. However, most of it is tailored for people already in the space, those already knowledgeable in blockchain, finance, and/or investing. It is unsuitable for newcomers. And because these represent the majority of the population, the mainstream has been alienated. Better education means resources that can teach crypto to absolute beginners. It should distill the knowledge in such a way that someone with little idea or experience in the space, its lingo, and its dynamics can understand it. A good example of this would be Dypto Crypto, a that teaches crypto to absolute beginners. It is aimed at a more mainstream crowd who lack a deep understanding of cryptocurrencies and how they work. crypto educational platform Other platforms are also doing a considerable amount of work. , an incredibly popular crypto newsletter, continues to go strong with over 250,000 regular readers. Milk Road Increased Utility One of crypto’s biggest criticisms is the lack of utility. Many crypto assets have no real use cases. They lack an underlying value, and their prices are sorely dependent on speculation. This makes it difficult to convince skeptics and inspires little confidence among would-be investors. Utility projects have been shown to handle bear markets better. So, for a stronger industry that attracts users and inspires investor confidence, projects need to focus on creating utility first instead of pursuing the temporary status of being the next hot digital asset. Improved User Experience (UX) The user experience is also lacking in the current crypto landscape. It tends to be so complicated that only seasoned users have the confidence to navigate it. The average person, on the other hand, finds it hard to cope with all the tools and varying user interfaces (UI) across different platforms. But the average person is exactly who is needed for crypto to go mainstream. So, a crucial goal of crypto projects should be to improve the UX. UIs should be simplified and made more user-friendly, making it easier for regular people to join and settle in the space. While projects such as have specifically emphasized UX, it’s far from beginner-friendly. And the overall blockchain ecosystem is far worse and presents one of the worst hurdles for crypto newbies yet. NEAR When’s the comeback? With an improved UX, real utility, comprehensive regulation, and better education to help users understand it all, crypto may have a chance at taking over the world. The internet didn’t disappear when the dotcom bubble burst in the late 90s, and this bear market isn’t the end of crypto. The underlying technologies are here to stay, but the industry itself is going through a cleansing fire. With more regulation and utility, better education, and consistent user experiences, cryptocurrencies stand a very good chance of becoming a mainstream financial product and investment vehicle.