Ever since Bitcoin was birthed, its early adopters have dreamed of a world where cryptocurrency is the go-to medium of exchange, not fiat currencies. But, ten years since Bitcoin was released, this dream has not been had.
Cryptocurrency pundits on Twitter estimate that less than 1% of the world’s population know anything material about this technology; Bitcoin itself processes much less than 1% of all digital transactions (Amazon alone purportedly processes over 300 transactions a second) that take place each and every day.
According to prominent technology chief executive Jack Dorsey, the fact that Bitcoin isn’t adopted isn’t an issue with social qualms, but rather with the technical and investment characteristics of the network.
Bitcoin Isn’t Ready for Mass Adoption… Yet
Speaking to the Australian Financial Review, Jack Dorsey, who heads both Twitter and Square — two companies that have a relatively large cryptocurrency demographic — argued that Bitcoin isn’t ready for mass adoption. He stated that it isn’t “functional as a currency”, seemingly making reference to the base layer processing speed of seven transactions per second, which pales in comparison to the (centralized) PayPal, Visa, and so on. Dorsey added:
“The peaks and troughs are like an investment asset and are equivalent to gold. What we need to do is make it more usable and accessible as a currency, but it’s not there yet.”
His comment is quite reminiscent of one made by Samson Mow of Blockstream. As reported by Blockonomi previously, the executive stated that at the base layer Bitcoin takes an average of 10 minutes to process transactions, sometimes upwards of three hours. “You don’t design a payment system that takes 10 minutes to settle on average,” Mow said while explaining why this statistic is important.
World Currency In the Making
While Dorsey is short-term bearish on Bitcoin’s ability to become a global currency, he asserted in this interview and on previous occasions that the cryptocurrency is prepared to take up the mantle… eventually.
Speaking to the Sydney Morning Herald at an event down under, the Twitter and Square chief executive explained that Bitcoin is the “best bet” to become the native currency of the Internet. On the matter of why Bitcoin has more potential than, say, Ethereum, he remarked that the original cryptocurrency has “been the most resilient, it’s around for 10 years, it has a great brand and it’s been tested a bunch”.
Indeed, while the project has suffered a few bugs over the years, it has quickly become a well-recognized brand, swelled to a value in the hundreds of billions, and has found viable use in places where decentralized money is needed.
Dorsey didn’t talk about potential solutions, but it is widely understood that Bitcoin could become a widely-accepted asset with the proper technical implementations. Blockstream’s Mow states that the best solution for Bitcoin’s identity crisis is the Lightning Network:
“You should be making payments over the Lightning Network because that is instantaneous and almost free. That’s what it was designed for. Everything is designed for a different purpose. Bitcoin was designed for settlement and wealth transfer. Litecoin — ah, sorry, Lightning; Charlie’s going to like that one! — Lightning was designed for fast payments and cheap payments.”
Dorsey’s company, Square, is also purportedly working on solutions that will aid the adoption of the cryptocurrency. Square Crypto has notably just hired Matt Corallo, formerly of Blockstream and Chaincode Labs, to work on some technical aspects of Bitcoin, making the division a team of two. The cryptocurrency branch of the fintech firm is expected to hire a handful more developers that will work on improving public blockchains for mass adoption.