The use of cryptocurrency has become increasingly popular in recent years. This is due to the fact that as a digital currency, secured by cryptography, it is nearly impossible to counterfeit or double-spend.
However, why has cryptocurrency not yet achieved mainstream adoption?
Many people do not trust cryptocurrency simply due to the number of reports of hackers stealing millions of dollars in various cryptocurrencies.
Unfortunately, the world of cryptocurrency is filled with scammers, hackers, and dodgy developers who are eager to part people from their real money.
An essential component of many cryptocurrencies is the underlying protocol; blockchain.
Although blockchain offers the best security when compared to other technologies, cybercriminals are still able to steal coins, this is not the fault of the underlying technology itself, the problem lies with storing crypto coins on centralized exchanges.
The blockchain itself is completely secure, but leaving your private keys with a third party ie, an exchange, is where the danger lies. Looking ahead there are quite a few DEX (Decentralised exchanges) being developed, promising far more secure ways of trading.
Unlike regular currency, the value of cryptocurrency such as bitcoin seems to be everchanging. This lack of stability is enough to deter many people from using cryptocurrency let alone trading it!
For example, the value of bitcoin can rise and fall at any given moment. The major crash at the height of its popularity in 2017 has significantly damaged its reputation.
It is hard for government bodies to get involved in cryptocurrency, as there is a lack of regulatory guidelines. Today, most crypto exchanges can only comply with best practices and vague rules.
It seems that until someone clarifies the rules, and regulates a particular currency, most people would rather stick to traditional money.
Another question regarding cryptocurrency in the mainstream is who will take the first step: merchants or users? If shops don’t offer crypto payment options, then the majority of people won’t use it.
On the other hand, if not enough consumers use crypto regularly, then merchants will have no incentive to adopt the currency.
Until cryptocurrency becomes an acceptable payment method across the board, with some sort of decentralized exchange for buying it, it could be a long way off before mainstream acceptance.