One of the biggest questions the crypto and blockchain communities have yet to answer is when would these technologies reach mainstream usage. That is beginning to be answered with the recent news of PayPal’s new service enabling users to buy, hold and sell cryptocurrency.
Coinbase then announced a debit card that lets you spend any asset in your Coinbase portfolio and earn rewards for each purchase. You don’t need to be an engineer to use either product and it is a giant step in the right direction for the space.
There has also been a big trend by central banks across the globe to begin development on central bank digital currencies. According to the Bank of International Settlements ten percent of central banks have said they will develop a digital currency within the next three years.
China has taken the early lead in this race and has already been conducting tests worth more than $300mn. The EU has committed to building a CBDC by 2025 and the U.S. has even said they are examining the issue, though they have yet to commit to a timeline.
For years, the industry has talked about the transformative nature of using these technologies to democratize access to financial services and make markets more efficient. One of the biggest impediments to that vision has been the complicated nature of the tech and making it easily accessible to the general public.
To be clear only about 15 percent of Americans own cryptocurrency as of late 2019. That number is up from about 8 percent in 2018, which shows the knowledge base is growing but wide scale adoption is not apparent yet.