Bitcoin has been around for a good period of time, and most people who have been involved with the digital currency are well-aware of the fact that it is likely to become mainstream one day, and entirely replace the financial system that we’re used to.
Having a larger user base for Bitcoin will likely open up numerous doors, and create better business and investment opportunities, while also increasing the popularity of the cryptocurrency, and of course, its value. In 2013, when Bitcoin first massively grew in size, most people were expecting the coin to become mainstream within a couple of years, or even months. As we’re all aware, its popularity has increased since, but it’s far from being used on a daily basis. Therefore, in this article, we are going to discuss the main factors holding Bitcoin back from being used by billions of people.
From a technological standpoint, the capacity of Bitcoin currently allows for 3-7 transactions per second, which is fairly low considering the fact that credit card providers such as Visa or MasterCard can currently handle over 56,000 transactions per second, whereas cash has a limitless transaction capacity. This can indeed be changed with smarter protocols being implemented, and with the help of more involvement from the community. More miners, will accumulate to a bigger network, hence increasing the transaction capacity of the digital currency.
The level of acceptance
Currently, bitcoin is accepted as a medium of payment to a couple of thousand online shops, and a few thousand physical merchants as well. This is a good start, but on the other side of the spectrum, credit and debit cards are accepted by over 40 million merchants throughout the world, while cash is accepted at almost every physical shop as well. To help fix this, more openness from merchants has to be shown, therefore the efforts in educating people, should also be focused on showing merchants the main benefits of facilitating transactions via bitcoin.
The barrier of entry onto the market
There’s also a barrier of entry, which for bitcoin, is of average difficulty. For credit and debit cards, there are numerous payment systems designed to make entry as easy as possible for any merchant, whereas merchants accepting bitcoin have fewer choices to consider.
Last but not least, there is also a psychological factor that can be quite disadvantageous for the digital currency. With this in mind, there is no consumer protection theoretically, which makes many people regard bitcoin as a scam, against which they cannot be protected. Not only this, but some believe that the digital currency is mostly used by terrorists and criminals in the underworld, due to its anonymity capacities. Additionally, some also see it as too volatile, to be safely used as a medium of exchange, yet this isn’t the case. Exposing these myths for what they are represents another step that should be taken to encourage mass adoption of the digital currency.