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Crypto traders have experienced a whirlwind ride during the past few years. For a while it seemed like millionaires were being minted overnight thanks to the altcoin frenzy in 2017. However, reality quickly set in and millions were lost just as fast as they were made. Altcoins haven’t been able to recover despite hopes of another altcoin boom. Many view this as the altcoin apocalypse where the majority of altcoins will never complete their projects. This may end up being a good thing overall as the cream will rise to the top and get the attention they deserve.
As it turns out, the point of cryptocurrency is not to purchase lambos. Rather, the point is to develop new technology capable of disrupting industries that will benefit society at large. Of course, in order for any of that to happen, adoption will need to occur. Thanks to several promising developments, adoption may end up coming sooner than many thought possible.
Bakkt and the Lightning Network
Satoshi Nakamoto’s dream was for Bitcoin to be a universal currency free from the constraints of centralized governments. While Bitcoin has come a long way since 2009, further improvements are needed before it will gain mass adoption. However, those improvements may soon come in the form of Bakkt and Lighting Network.
Bakkt will soon become the preeminent bitcoin futures trading platform. The platform has already been approved and will commence trading on September 23. The long-term prospects for Bitcoin are extremely promising thanks to the Bakkt launch for two primary reasons:
- Institutional money will flow in
- Facilitation of retail bitcoin payments
Since Bakkt will provide a federally regulated system to trade Bitcoin futures, institutional investors will now be able to participate. Additionally, Bakkt has partnered with Starbucks in order to offer customers the option to pay with Bitcoin. This payment option is expected to go live by the end of the year.
In addition to Bakkt, the Lightning Network will improve the technology so Bitcoin can go to the next level. One of the biggest things holding Bitcoin back has been scalability. At present, Bitcoin is capable of processing approximately 7 transactions per second (TPS). However, when looking at the following payment vendors’ TPS, Bitcoin is failing pretty miserably.
- Visa – 24,000 TPS
- Ripple – 1,500 TPS
- PayPal – 193
So, a TPS of 7 just isn’t going to cut it. Because of this scalability problem, the Lightning Network has been developed. This new technology will eliminate the need to wait for several confirmations with each transaction which should result in much less network congestion and therefore dramatically increase transaction speed.
Market Participation Should Be Made Easy
In order for cryptocurrency to really take off, it needs to be made as easy as possible for as many people as possible to understand. When it comes to grouping people and their crypto knowledge, there are essentially four groups:
- Sophisticated Crypto Traders
- Crypto Enthusiasts
- Interested in Crypto but have no idea how to begin
- Absolutely no interest in Crypto
The first two groups are already in the market. They are participating, they read news, and are generally active participants. The question is how to reach the third and fourth groups of people. In order for that to happen, access needs to be as easy as possible.
Many people started in the industry by signing up for a trading account at some of the largest exchanges like Coinbase and Gemini where it’s relatively easy to deposit funds and begin purchasing cryptocurrencies.
Of course, the third and fourth groups need to be nudged to do it. Crypto entrepreneurs came up with the idea of placing crypto ATMs at easy points of access around the world. Although sophisticated traders may scoff at the idea of using an ATM, they are a great method for attracting new market participants. It’s how I got started in 2017 when I had no idea how to begin. And it’s why some of the largest, most popular tokens are partnering with leading crypto ATM operators.
In fact, the leading crypto ATM operator in the U.S., CoinFlip, now has 307 ATMs around the country in which users can purchase BTC, LTC, ETH, TRX, KMD, and DASH. The company is also testing LINK as a possible 7th token option.
Crypto DApp Domination
Let’s be honest, it’s hard to walk around without noticing that nearly everyone has their head buried in their phone or tablet. These devices are how people interact with the world and technology developers have really ramped up their efforts to take advantage of that. There is no doubt that Apple and Samsung are the two dominant phone makers in the world. In 2018, Samsung sold 293.7 million smartphones while Apple came in second with 212.1 million in smartphone sales. That is at least 500 million people right there that have instant access to all the programs and apps available on each smartphone. Both Apple and Samsung have recognized the growing demand for crypto-based apps and have taken steps to make it easier for users to access them.
Apple is making it much easier for cryptocurrency developers to build apps for the store. Because of this, and the growing demand for crypto, at least 293.7 million iPhone users will have access to the world of crypto at their fingertips. Samsung is even taking this one step further. When Samsung launched their Galaxy S10 earlier this year in March, it was revealed that the phone came with a built-in wallet along with support for ETC and ERC20 tokens and four DApps. Those four DApps include the following:
- CryptoKitties – a blockchain game centered around collectible creatures called CryptoKitties
- Enjin – an all-in-one blockchain game development platform
- Cosmee – a beauty ecosystem
- CoinDuck – blockchain payment services platform
While that was a great start toward attracting a new group of crypto users, Samsung didn’t stop there. The forward-looking company has continued to expand its app offering, which now stands at 17.
Samsung is clearly at the top of the game when it comes to DApps which means Apple won’t be far behind. Both of these companies will certainly continue taking steps to be active participants in the crypto boom.
There is no doubt that cryptocurrency is making inroads among a large segment of the population. While many may have started off as disbelievers, the longevity of Bitcoin has made many take notice. With continued innovation and growing ease of access, mass adoption may be just around the corner.
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