Overcoming the Perceived Barriers to Cryptocurrency Adoption

Tyler Sack
October 16, 2019

According to Dalia Research, between 3-13% of the populations from the largest cryptocurrency markets actually own some form of coin or token. Levels of cryptocurrency awareness, however, are significantly higher ranging from 61-90%, which raises the question, how do we move from awareness of cryptocurrency and blockchain to adoption? Or perhaps, what is preventing the widespread adoption given these high levels of awareness?

For most new ideas, and especially new technologies, it can take years for the public to adopt them. The general public tends to slowly adopt change rather than rapidly due to an ongoing process of persuasion, necessity, and benefits. The majority of people today are evaluating whether or not they will adopt the new technology based on the experiences of others, and with a small amount of early adopters in the world that process may be drawn out.

The success of things catching on comes down to word of mouth. There are several factors that drive whether or not people choose to talk about something, but ultimately it has to do with the stories people tell each other and the relationship between those people. In a lot of cases where new technologies are introduced, the jump from early adoption to majority adoption has to do with security, trust, and impact.

Bitcoin has its enthusiasts and a minority of people who’ve embraced the technology despite its volatility and negative press related to dark net activities. For most people however, there may be a gap in understanding how cryptocurrency works and why they should consider adopting the technology.

An early majority adoption of cryptocurrency may be dependent on the conversations people have about it and not solely on use. The immediate concerns may be in user-experience, regulatory uncertainty, and scalability but with more people adopting the technology there will inevitably be more secure and user-friendly platforms.

The idea is not to persuade more people to buy into cryptocurrency, we need to have more conversations with people who are unfamiliar with the whole concept of digital currency and let them make their own decisions.

There are plenty examples of companies that failed to adapt to disruptive technology and were outcompeted or rendered obsolete as a result. Tower Records, Blockbuster Video, and Polaroid were aware of the disruptive technologies that led to their decline, yet each either failed to innovate or failed to adapt to new technology quick enough. What is unknown though, is how quickly does new technology replace the old. Within this framework, the disruption of money may depend on the question: What can people do with a distributed ledger that they were not able to do before?