Bitcoin took a blow yesterday via Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong and is now trading for about $100 less than where it was yesterday afternoon. According to Armstrong, it will be many years before mass adoption occurs in the cryptocurrency space and bitcoin is used primarily as a form of payment instead of as an investment opportunity.
People Aren’t Using It Enough
One of the biggest problems facing bitcoin is its overall lack of adoption. For the most part, hype surrounding the cryptocurrency has fallen in mainstream media following its continual drops from last year’s peak price of $19,000+ in December. People were genuinely interested in the asset when the market was bullish, but now that things have calmed down, people are starting to turn away.
In addition, many retailers and businesses do not accept bitcoin or cryptocurrencies as methods of payment for goods and services. The financial arena is still largely dominated and governed by cash and credit credits, and so long as this continues, bitcoin is not going to experience a fair shot.
Trust Can Only Come with Time
Sadly, Armstrong comments that it will be a while before this occurs. He says that bitcoin’s technology is still very immature, and that it needs more time to alleviate its continued price corrections and bubble activity:
“I think it will be quite some time before you cross the street to Starbucks in the U.S. and pay with crypto. This technology is going through a series of bubbles and corrections, and each time it does that, it’s at a new plateau. People’s expectations are all over the map.”
Hey Starbucks… What the Heck Happened?
It’s ironic that Armstrong mentions Starbucks in the sense that the company has been at the center of controversy following its alleged partnership with Bakkt, the new platform from the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) set to debut this coming November. Bakkt’s primary goal is to assist retail companies in buying, selling and trading digital currencies.
It was originally reported that the coffee king would be implementing the platform’s new virtual payment software to allow customers to purchase drinks, baked goods and assorted merchandise with crypto. However, Starbucks representatives have since retracted their statements suggesting that this would occur.
“Customers will not be able to pay for a Frappuccino with bitcoin,” explains one spokesperson.
Not Everyone Will Be Onboard
While Armstrong has no doubt that real-world adoption will increase in due time, he is adamant that certain countries will limit or ban access to cryptocurrencies just as they do with the internet, and that trust for digital assets will never be a sure thing:
“Most places in the free world are adopting this technology. They rightly want to protect consumers, though, and there are going to be some countries in the world, just like with the internet, where bitcoin and cryptocurrencies are restricted.”
Bitcoin: The Savior?
However, where Armstrong is most confident is that third-world or developing nations facing economic turmoil will eventually turn to bitcoin and assorted forms of crypto as a means of fighting inflation and stabilizing their financial infrastructures:
“I’m bullish on countries that are going through economic crises. Over the next three to five years, where everyone has the internet and a smartphone, you could see people adopting bitcoin and cryptocurrencies as an alternative.”
The Company Continues to Grow
In related news, Coinbase appears to be doing better than ever, and alleges that approximately 50,000 new customers were signing up each day towards the end of last year. While it’s unknown how many customers are coming aboard now, the San Francisco-based digital exchange currently employs over 1,000 people, one-third of which are women.
“It’s getting harder and harder to be a crypto skeptic,” Armstrong asserts.