Will there be mainstream adoption of bitcoin? If so, how long would it take? Answering those simple questions has become the obsession of pros in the field. Now, all of them have their own theories on that. When the Dutch cafes started taking bitcoin payments, the news spread like wild fire. It was time, the media promoted bitcoin like crazy which led to market manipulation? It was around this time, few ATMs extended its operations towards bitcoin to cash withdrawals. Tons and tons of cryptocards were issued by umpteen ICOs, since then. A nation in crisis, Venezuela considered adopting bitcoin as its national currency also Iran is using bitcoin under the radar to avoid some financial restrictions implemented on it. However, we have still not reached the point where we can claim of mainstream adoption.
To answer that question, we need to look for precedents on the mass adoption of a new currency. One of the more radical dispositions was accepting gold certificates instead of gold. It happened in the 16th century when people had to accept bits of paper as the new currency rather than solid gold for the first time in recorded history. Obviously, these papers or gold certificates were backed by real gold and vouched by the government. Even when issued by the palace, people didn’t agree to it quite easily. It took over the next four centuries to be broadly deployed in the mainstream society. That’s as far as the transformation from gold to currency bill goes.
That development was followed by the invention of credit cards. Now people had to agree to a piece of plastic with company-issued numbers on it, rather than the piece of paper. That transformation took another 50 years. The shortening of the adoption time should be attributed to the advancements in media and information technology. Similarly, we can expect bitcoin adoption to go mainstream in about 15 years. Ever since it started in 2009, it expected to enjoy mainstream adoption in 2024, apparently, that will be the year the last bitcoin will be minted. It will become a deflationary commodity with its strictly limited supply by that time.
In addition, governments are moving towards the concept of cashless economy. Moreover, the urban youth prefers such an arrangement too. But that route isn’t so straightforward for bitcoin, since governments prefer total surveillance. But it puts bitcoin in race against fiat currencies and other cryptocurrencies. Developers around the world are creating plenty of bitcoin payment solutions. Several governments are considering giving a nod on bitcoin as an addition to existing economic structure. Even more so, bitcoin is constantly rising in value to match capitalization costs and has the millions of computers connected to the internet to substitute for infrastructure.
We can sum this discussion up with this recent development in 2020 - Coinbase founder proposed a system enabling mail based bitcoin transactions. The proposal from Brain Armstrong comes along with a 5 year old patent. It details a system that enables users to make crypto-based payments with just email addresses linked to corresponding wallet addresses. First time bitcoin users will find it easy to send and receive BTC. There will be no need to understand the concept of public address and private key. To make the deal even sweeter, Coinbase has proposed that they won’t charge any fee on email to email transactions. Similarly, some other developers are also trying to develop easy apps for mass usage and transactions of bitcoin for the common people like transferring bitcoin through a chatting app and even sms.