The relentlessness of Bitcoin headlines might make you wonder if this cryptocurrency is a version of “digital gold.” Undoubtedly, Bitcoin has come a long way from being perceived as sketchy virtual money associated with crime.
These days, even reputable financial institutions are investing heavily in this digital currency. But what does that tell us about Bitcoin’s adoption rate?
An early investor might have significant holdings in their free bit wallet today, but circumstances are different now. To get a better sense of how the adoption of Bitcoin is going, we should examine the Bitcoin S curve.
Measuring Bitcoin Adoption
There are thousands of cryptocurrencies users can buy these days, but most of them aren’t widely used. For that reason, their adoption would be difficult to track and wouldn’t yield any meaningful results.
That’s why crypto experts and enthusiasts use Bitcoin to measure the overall acceptance of cryptocurrency. As the original digital money, it has the longest history and the highest adoption rate.
However, there isn’t a clear consensus on which parameters are used to track the adoption. Some might argue that Bitcoin’s recognition from mainstream financial institutions is the most crucial factor.
Others will say that once the world’s billionaires start investing in Bitcoin, that’s how we know Bitcoin is legitimised. At the end of the day, both lead to the same result – more people buying Bitcoin.
What Is the S Curve?
The S curve is a type of graphical report representing the adoption of a new product or technology over time. There are five different stages of the S Curve:
- Early Adopters
- Early Majority
- Late Majority
Many breakthrough technologies can be measured with the S curve. At the moment, all cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, are between the innovators and early adopters’ stage.
That might seem unusual given all we’ve heard about the adoption of Bitcoin and how nearly everyone is buying it.
The impression is not unfounded considering that since May 2020 alone, the price of Bitcoin has increased by 300%, prompting even more users to join the network.
Currently, there is close to 80 million Bitcoin users worldwide. While this number might be staggering considering the humble beginnings of the original cryptocurrency, it still represents only a fraction of the population.
Other Factors to Consider
To understand the adoption curve of Bitcoin, we also have to consider how well is it accepted in different countries.
After all, cryptocurrency is not even legal in some places. China, Vietnam, Columbia, and Bolivia have banned the use of cryptocurrencies or have made any crypto transactions illegal.
On the other hand, countries like Canada, the US, the Philippines, and India have welcomed the crypto industry and have made significant efforts to tax and regulate it.
This disparity presents a challenge for the global adoption of cryptocurrency and shows that the number of users alone is not the most important factor worth considering.
Comparing Bitcoin to Other Modern Inventions
One of the ways to track and predict the adoption of Bitcoin is to look back in history and see how long it took for other major innovations to be widely accepted.
It’s worth looking at how long it took for electricity and the automobile to go from an unusual invention to complete societal adoption.
But perhaps it’s better to use the introduction and acceptance of the Internet as a reference. No other innovation has seen such speed of adoption, including TV and telephone.
It took the Internet a little over seven years to go from 130 million users to a billion. According to crypto experts, Bitcoin might take around four years to achieve a similar pattern.
However, one of the challenges is going to be tracking the number of users accurately. The go-to metric is the analysis of all crypto users with registered and verified accounts on crypto exchanges. Unfortunately, that doesn’t include a certain number of users that don’t use the exchanges.
The Role of Bitcoin in Your Life
For many Bitcoin enthusiasts, buying cryptocurrency, planning around it, and talking about it is part of everyday life. But for others, the idea of investing in digital money still seems too abstract and unappealing.
However, there are millions without bank accounts who benefit from having access to Bitcoin. There’s no doubt the fast rate of crypto adoption is also generational. An average young person might already have a free bit wallet, whereases a retiree is unlikely to ever do so.
In any case, it will be exciting to see what the future holds and how long it will take for everyone to use cryptocurrency.