Is cryptocurrency the payment of the future? Or is it another fad that will fizzle out before it really gains traction? Crypto advocates may be frothing at the mouth to promote mass adoption, but without a serious rethinking, crypto is destined to remain a barter tool for only the truest believers. To become a viable alternative to your wallet, cryptocurrencies must offer significant enhancements to the current payment system. That’s no small task, but it’s not impossible.
When it really started to come into the public view about 10 years ago, blockchain seemed to promise an alternative currency, one that offered secure, online transactions with no need for a centralized third party. However, crypto’s reality is a far cry from its promise. Merchant adoption is low, consumer demand is minimal, and security concerns dominate the headlines. The future of payment is looking increasingly like apps and portals. To play a role, cryptocurrencies need to examine where they’re winning, where they’re falling short, and what it will take to go from novelty bartering communities to usable everyday currency.
The good, the bad, and the barriers
While it’s true that crypto — bitcoin in particular — had a terrible 2018,