Rising global adoption makes cryptocurrencies ideal for retail

although cryptocurrency The market seems to be go through a period of calm Currently, there is no denying that the industry has grown over the past few years, especially from an adoption perspective.

So far, a A recent study Number of U.S. adults using digital assets revealed Daily purchases will increase by 70% Compared to 2021, the metric increased from 1.08 million users to 3.6 million users by the end of this year.

The lead author of the study said that as the volatility of the crypto market continues to decrease – thanks to the increasing use of stablecoin and Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) – These products are increasingly seen as a legitimate payment method. In fact, research shows that by the end of 2022, the total U.S. adult population using cryptocurrencies will reach a staggering 33.7 million.

That number could climb to 37.2 million by the end of 2023, which is a fairly realistic number, especially given that investors are entering Global cryptocurrency competition almost doubles Over the past 12 months across different countries, such as India, Brazil and Hong Kong. On the subject, Narek Gevorgian, CEO and founder of CoinStats (crypto portfolio manager and decentralized finance (DeFi) wallet) told Cointelegraph:

“In many cases, cryptocurrencies have taken the lead in the financial mainstream, rather than in a zero-sum way compared to existing mature markets. Millions of unbanked people can trade cryptocurrencies through their mobile phones because it is An untapped market whose growth is difficult to observe and measure from the economic perspective we have today.”

Cryptocurrency adoption in retail expected to grow

Max Krupyshev, CEO of crypto payment processor CoinsPaid, believes that while the 3.6 million figure is impressive, it still represents only about 1 percent of the U.S. population. In his opinion, cryptocurrency payments will grow exponentially in the next 3-5 years, adding:

“I think by 2025, in the US alone, we will be able to talk about tens of millions of users. The US market is fertile ground for any innovative solutions. Another factor driving the adoption of cryptocurrency as a currency for everyday transactions is that it is becoming more and more The easier it is to buy, use these assets for global brands.”

He further stated that Asia has the potential to overtake the US in the long run when it comes to crypto payments, as the entire region is very nimble in embracing new and upcoming technologies. “We should also focus on the growing popularity of cryptocurrencies in African countries. There is a high demand for crypto applications and alternative investment vehicles that offer low barriers to entry,” Krupyshev added.

Brandon Dallman, CMO of DeFi ecosystem Unizen, told Cointelegraph that the retail payments/cross-border remittance ecosystem has been dominated by a handful of companies such as Western Union, PayPal, and Stripe for the longest time. However, with the growing popularity of cryptocurrencies in recent years, digital assets have helped people circumvent the problems associated with middlemen and high fees, as well as the inherently repressive red hatism associated with traditional financial economies. He emphasized:

“A fast blockchain network is the right track for a CBDC like a digital dollar, euro, etc. A blockchain that can meet the demands put forth by financial institutions like stock exchanges and clearing houses will win this battle. We see banks of all sizes They’re all testing the waters to see how they can start interacting with the new digital world in front of them, driven by a growing fear of being left behind.”

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Maybe not?

Not everyone is convinced of crypto’s growing influence in retail.For example, Ben Caselin, head of research and strategy at cryptocurrency exchange AAX, told Cointelegraph that while we may see adoption of custodial stablecoins in the near future, we highly doubt we are heading towards some sort of Crypto Payment Utopia,Add to:

“As integration increases, we can expect more scrutiny and regulation, which doesn’t bode well for cryptocurrencies at all. In some venues, a specific token may be the currency of choice, for example, with a boring ape theme of restaurants will likely accept ApeCoin for payments. But, beyond that, I think ultimately, real-world payments and store-of-value utility will focus on Bitcoin, although that doesn’t ignore the continued growth of the online and offline microeconomics.”

Still, Kessling said it was encouraging to see the mainstream move towards a better, more open understanding of what money really means. “If we could see that merchants or companies actually hold the crypto assets they pay for, then that could get really interesting,” he noted.

Which digital assets are suitable for retail?

As it stands, Dalman sees Solana (Sol) is leading the way in facilitating everyday transactions as the network offers fast speeds and extremely cheap gas rates, making the network more accessible. Furthermore, for major cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (bitcoin) is beginning to gain mainstream adoption as fiat currency, and he believes that flagship assets are gaining popularity as a digital payment medium.

Encrypted point-of-sale terminals.Source: Intellogate FinTech Solutions

Krupyshev shares a similar view, arguing that Bitcoin, rather than any stablecoin, will become a more popular payment method, even though most products or services are valued in dollars, adding:

“I think Bitcoin has the most potential role as a global payment medium. It has proven its viability, overcoming more than one crisis and weathering more than one crypto winter.”

That being said, he admits that it is highly unlikely that we will see mass implementation of BTC-centric payments in the next few years. This is thanks in large part to the fact that production costs are still paid in fiat currency and are often pegged to the dollar, euro, pound, yen or yuan.

For Gevorgian, Bitcoin and Ethereum (Ethereum) appear to be the two most likely candidates for global retail adoption, thanks to their market dominance and investor popularity. He added: “Bitcoin appears to be suitable for larger transactions and will slowly but surely become a more viable option for small transactions as solutions based on the Lightning Network advance.”

He further suggested that the most promising cryptocurrencies to gain a foothold in the payments space would be those that are held and used the most. This could make the top 20 largest coins by market cap a trading currency.

Contrary to the above opinion, Yair Testa, head of business development at blockchain-based payments ecosystem COTI, has no doubts that stablecoins will become the number one choice for retail remittances in the near future. He told Cointelegraph:

“Businesses and merchants need to spend most of their revenue on operating costs and cannot afford to take risks. They need stability and assurance that their revenue will be of the same value tomorrow as it is today. In the long run, we think regulated stablecoins and CBDCs are the main payment methods.”

Mainstream entities that accept encryption

The list of well-known brands accepting digital currencies has grown rapidly in recent years as crypto assets have gained massive mainstream support.For example, Microsoft currently allow Its users pay for its various in-house services, including Xbox Live, Microsoft apps, games, and more, in Bitcoin.

American internet furniture retailer Overstock appears to be leading the way when it comes to crypto shopping.This is because the company is currently accept Some digital tokens next to Bitcoin, such as Litecoin (LTC), ETH and Monero (XMR). Similarly, Home Depot, the largest hardware chain in the United States, allow Bitcoin payments are made through Flexa’s checkout system, a crypto payments ecosystem powered by Gemini, so individuals can build entire houses using only crypto.

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Starbucks also has Partnership with futures exchange Bakkt, which allows users to pay for morning coffee (and more) with digital assets. The same goes for Whole Foods, an American multinational supermarket chain. cooperating Through the spending app SPEDN, users can buy all their groceries with BTC, LTC or Gemini U.S. dollars (GUSD). SPEDN isn’t just for Whole Foods, as it also allows users to spend their digital assets at Regal Cinemas, GameStop, Jamba Juice, and Baskin Robbins.

In telecommunications, AT&T is the first U.S. mobile phone provider Offers crypto payments to its customers, albeit indirectly. Using BitPay, a third-party payment gateway, users who want to take advantage of the company’s various products/services can do so using Bitcoin as well as some other assets.

In addition to the names listed above, some other well-known brands currently using crypto payments include entertainment company AMC, travel booking operator Travala, US department store franchise JCPenney, the Dallas Mavericks, and GameStop, among others.

As we move into a future where digital currencies continue to gain rapid adoption, it will be interesting to see how cryptocurrencies fit into the global retail environment, especially globally positioned to compete or complement existing fiat payment systems.