Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are fast-becoming household names across the world, but for some reason, they’ve not yet hit the mainstream. While crypto is a very popular trade commodity, its future as an actual currency seems unclear. So, what exactly is stopping cryptocurrency from becoming a mainstream form of payment? Here are three challenges it must overcome first.
The value of cryptocurrency is too unstable
Imagine if, every time you checked your savings account, you had a slightly different amount – either more or less – with no explanation. This is essentially the experience of cryptocurrency today. In the first six months of 2019 alone, bitcoin’s value fluctuated from around $3800 to over $9000 per coin. This sort of volatility may be exciting for traders, but for everyday people who want their money kept safe, it looks like a risky gamble.
Transactions via crypto are still too slow
Because cryptocurrency relies on a huge network of ‘miners’ to verify transactions, it can often take a while for these transactions to be verified on the blockchain. It’s true that users can choose to speed up the verification process by paying an additional fee, this is hardly going to encourage everyday people to try the currency. Before cryptocurrencies like bitcoin can become mainstream, transactions must first become nearly instantaneous. It’s worth noting that innovations such as the bitcoin ‘lightning’ network may well be the answer to this speed problem – but we’ll have to wait and see.
Cryptocurrency is still too hard to use for most people
If you’ve ever tried to buy or sell a cryptocurrency, you’ll know exactly how complex the process can be. It involves virtual wallets, seeds, private keys, paper wallets, and many other technical steps which all stand in opposition to a smooth, easy user experience. Right now, one of the main reasons that Bitcoin tends to be the commodity of choice for the IT-literate is because the simple act of transacting can be a very technical process. If we want crypto to become the go-to currency we all have in our pocket, managing our funds needs to become much more straightforward.
Is the world ready for cryptocurrency? Perhaps not yet, but the world of technology moves so fast – who knows what’s around the corner?