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The Top 5 Barriers to Mass Adoption – And How to Overcome Them

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You can’t write an article about crypto without mentioning the latest market massacre. That would be like not talking about the elephant in the room. Many people in the industry are still too new to remember Bitcoin’s many bubbles. Yet this latest one is so epic because of the amount of money bleeding out. But is there a light at the end of the tunnel? Could bitcoin’s plummeting price hold the key to mass adoption?

Let’s take a look at the various factors getting in the way of mass adoption and how a lower price–along with removing these other obstacles–could be the trigger to crypto’s recovery.

1. Volatility

This time last year, Bitcoin was approaching its all-time high of almost $20,000. Now it’s flirting with $3,000 with some analysts calling for a low of $1,500. That’s a staggering drop by anyone’s standards.

Bitcoin Price

While there’s every possibility that the price will skyrocket back up again, such fluctuations are not for the faint-hearted. They’re also not suitable for use as a currency.

Plenty of stablecoins are in the market which may eventually leave Bitcoin behind as an everyday exchange of value. But they won’t make Bitcoin redundant. In fact, its plummeting price could be the catalyst that brings in the real money.

No professional investor is going to buy when the price is inflated by speculation. When there’s blood on the streets and institutional investors start to buy, the low price will mark a milestone for mass adoption.

2. Usability

Even if you go for a generally recognized easy-to-use exchange like Coinbase, it’s still no walk in the park. In a society that’s used to contactless payments or paying with a smartphone, walking around a store waiting for a transaction confirmation is taking a backward step.

We’re getting better at it, with cryptocurrencies like Dash claiming industry firsts and allowing instant payment confirmations. But there’s still a long way to go. 42-character addresses have to be replaced by names. Clunky hardware wallets that need lengthy configuration are going to get thrown out.

Unfathomable interfaces of decentralized exchanges will need to be tailored to a lay market. They’ll have to go mobile–without 5,000 hoops to jump through before customers can log in.

3. Scalability

How to scale blockchains for mass adoption has been the question on everybody’s lips especially since 2017 saw CryptoKitties crash Ethereum and the Bitcoin blockchain get so backed up that transaction times went through the roof.

The Lightning Network is making good progress despite the downward turn in price.

lightning-network

Source 1ML.com

Ethereum too is working hard on scaling solutions like SNARKs and the plasma protocol. Plasma will essentially allow hundreds of thousands of transactions to happen off-chain enabling mass adoption and speed without clogging up the network.

A few companies are working on incorporating plasma into their technology stack. Digitex Futures, for example, as a hybrid exchange, will use the speed of centralized servers for matching orders and plasma technology to offer decentralized account balances.

4. Regulation

Many people argue that regulation will stifle innovation. But the big banks and institutional investors simply won’t get on board until they know they’re operating within the lines of the law. Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan have had their fair share of working against market interests, yet crypto still somehow needs their seal of approval.

More exchanges that offer both derivative and spot trading are going to start appearing. In fact, the launch of ICE Markets’ Bakkt in January 2019 is causing a stir throughout the community.

As a regulated ecosystem for global assets with a US-based Bitcoin futures exchange, Bakkt is likely to bring in the big players. This means the stocks and bonds sitting in paper contracts will migrate to the blockchain and the market cap will leap to incomprehensible heights.

When valuable industries such as futures move to the blockchain, we’ve already seen how profitable that can be. CME saw its daily volume increase by 93 percent in Q2 2018 after introducing futures.

Bakkt will also open the door for smaller futures exchanges like Digitex to allow retail traders to make living trading derivatives on crypto.

5. Security

We’re talking about cybersecurity here, not the ongoing debate about security versus utility token. The US SEC and UK FCA are stepping up their efforts to prevent ICO scams. Custodians and exchanges continue their game of whack a mole with the hackers. But until the security of funds becomes, well, more secure, users won’t want to risk losing all their funds to an exchange hack.

2019 will see crypto insurance providers coming to the market, although the process is a complex one. Understanding the risk associated with being a cryptocurrency custodian or with futures trading on a volatile market like crypto isn’t easy.

The Barriers to Mass Adoption Are Being Worked on

When institutions are comfortable being in the space when providers can offer some kind of insurance, regulation gets it right, and bitcoin price gets low enough, the sea change will surely begin.

All these barriers to mass adoption are being worked on regardless of the lowering prices. The bear market is allowing developers to push out the products that will lead to mass adoption of crypto. It’s just a question of when.

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Disclaimer: This article should not be taken as, and is not intended to provide, investment advice. Global Coin Report and/or its affiliates, employees, writers, and subcontractors are cryptocurrency investors and from time to time may or may not have holdings in some of the coins or tokens they cover. Please conduct your own thorough research before investing in any cryptocurrency and read our full disclaimer.

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Crypto Queen

Top 3 Trends in the Crypto Space Right Now

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With the price of Bitcoin on a tearing run, it’s hard to say we’re all in this for the tech. However, luckily for the advancement of the space, beyond the speculators, there are plenty of blockchain companies building, innovating, and pushing the envelope. With that in mind, here are the top three trends in the crypto space right now.

1. IEOs (Initial Exchange Offerings)

ICOs are dead. Every man, woman, and their respective dogs know that the SEC pretty much killed that phenomenon. The downward pattern from 2018 that continued into this year shows an almost uncontested freefall.

ICOs are dead

Perhaps it was a good thing, considering that more than $1.2 billion of crypto funds were stolen through scam projects and inside deals in the first quarter of 2019 alone.

But while many people in the space predicted the rise of STOs (Security Token Offerings), that particular phenomenon is still waiting at the gates. Many company’s hands are tied or they’re halted by the regulators.

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Crypto Queen

Tax refunds are down this year, but not for Louisa.

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Tax refunds are down, in fact they have dropped by 8.4 percent, down to a 2019 average of $1,865 from $2,035 last year. This drop has some workers who usually get a refund paying out of pocket in addition to what’s already withheld from their paychecks.

But not all working people are taking a hit. An acquaintance who’s a UX developer at a design firm, and also operates a side hustle trading crypto under an LLC, told me she found a way to hang on to the money the Trump tax plan would otherwise pilfer from her earnings. Through a membership with a financial research platform, Louisa (not her real name) has been able to tuck the money away where it’s counted as a business loss, and she still has access to it for later.

Stumbling across a tax trap door

Louisa dabbles in crypto, although she doesn’t describe herself as an expert. She uses a financial research platform called the Pareto Network, which connects investors on a peer-to-peer basis. There are other platforms like this, but Pareto turns out to have a uniquely beneficial glitch.

It caters to entry level dabblers like Louisa, while also providing more advanced tools for higher volume investors. One of…

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Crypto Queen

These Are the Crypto Influencers to Follow in 2019

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Last year was supposed to be the year of blockchain. But bitcoin’s belly flop put a damper on public interest and mainstream adoption remains elusive. But blockchain pioneers made some important strides in 2018, and people are now using it to vote, deal in fine art, and microfinance entrepreneurs in refugee camps. Crypto evolved and even became a national currency for the first time.

The rough year for bitcoin and cryptos was offset by the hard work and creative developments from some very bright minds. These are the leaders and influencers taking crypto into the future this year.

Amber Baldet

Baldet left a high profile job developing blockchain for JP Morgan so she could launch her own dapp platform. She made Forbes’ 40 Under 40 list, and advocates for building bridges between the public and private sectors when it comes to blockchain implementation. Now she’s forecasting a dark vision of the future under surveillance capitalism, and giving us the keys to navigating it by thinking about our personal data as the new money.

Laura Shin

As Forbes’ senior crypto editor, Shin was the first mainstream journalist to cover crypto…

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