Will Cryptocurrency adoption accelerate in 2018?

Will Cryptocurrency adoption accelerate in 2018?

26 Jan 2018

crypto bitcoingold bitcoin btcAs political and worldly realities saw the symbolic Doomsday Clock moved forward by 30 seconds this week, the possibility of global catastrophe could hasten the adoption of decentralised cryptocurrencies. Will Cryptocurrency adoption accelerate in 2018?

The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists moved its Doomsday Clock two minutes closer to midnight on Thursday, partly due to the looming threat of nuclear war between the United States and North Korea as well as global warming.

The clock is now set at two minutes to midnight, the closest it has been since 1953, the year of the Cold War.

While there is little worldly creatures can do about this, it’s worth sitting back and taking some time to consider what would happen if a catastrophic event were to plunge everything into chaos, and whether this would in fact accelerate the adoption of decentralised cryptocurrencies.

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Digital Gold

Director of precious metals at Coinvest Daniel Marburger says his firm is currently dealing with an influx of calls from Bitcoin investors who are losing value as crypto markets continue to slide. They want to know how to hedge their bets and exchange their coins for gold.

The brief history of crypto strongly suggests that as gold plummets, Bitcoin soars – and it seems the reverse is true when Bitcoin slides.

Logically, the value of precious metals such as gold would go up should anything bad happen to any sector of the market. After all, people have been hedging their bets on gold against financial crises for a very long time. The economic crash of 2008 is a prime, recent example of how gold recovered all its value in one year, reviving its standing as a safe haven.

While this inverse reality is true, it is likely that a doomsday scenario would trigger the value of both assets to rise.

According to a recent study conducted by London Block Exchange, one in three Millennials (including generation Z) will own cryptocurrencies by the end of 2018. Considering how acquiring crypto is already easier than gold, and has yet to become even simpler, people in their 20s and 30s would opt for digital assets, while older generations would immediately put their money into gold should the worst happen.

Utility

Gold is the old school safe haven, while crypto is the new school.

As mentioned earlier, those who are well-versed in technology, technophiles or digital natives will opt for a quick and easy solution if central banks and paper money were to fall in value. In the same breath, older generations would turn to gold because it’s a real physical asset, but how much of it is there to go around? And how would it be divided in exchange for goods and services? After all, certificates wouldn’t mean much in a marketplace where the need for basic necessities is pronounced.

Provided the internet and technology itself don’t cease to function, Millenials will almost certainly opt for a cryptocurrency in a digital wallet over a heavy, cumbersome gold bar.

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Scaling

Gold is a very scarce resource. In fact, 165,000 metric tons of it have been mined throughout human history, with the world population currently sitting at around 7.55 billion people.

The problem with material resources such as gold is that it isn’t a practical way of communicating value on a day-to-day basis. One solution could be the re-emergence of the gold standard, but in a global catastrophe where the banking system totally fails this would be no small feat.

On the other hand, while cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin have a market cap, digital communication only requires a functioning internet. However, the digital community has struggled to find ways to scale and serve the masses, which speaks to the fact that at some point, perhaps when the market stabilises, the major crypto exchanges have to stop accepting registrations.

Currencies like Ethereum (Bitcoin’s main competitor) struggle because it has to handle transactions as trivial as people’s obsession with digital kittens.

Tech ideas and entrepreneurship trump all

Scaling issues exist within either safe haven, but at the same time, there is nothing more powerful than a new, workable idea. And this was clearly demonstrated in 2017, when the crypto-market revealed itself to the public sphere and thrived. Advancements of technology such as blockchain and artificial intelligence will eventually push humans to new frontiers, with the possibility of AI eventually becoming smarter than human beings something that we are only now beginning to contend with.

With this in mind, it remains unclear whether crypto will be as successful as the technology that drives it – blockchain. But it is certainly clear that there is a major technological shift occurring that will see dramatic changes to the way people buy and sell goods, irrespective of whether a global meltdown were to happen tomorrow.

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