The surge in Bitcoin and Ethereum during 2017 in early 2018 caused the markets to be distorted and as the market plummeted, so did the public's view. But that doesn't change the underlying technology or the future prospects of cryptocurrencies in general. Indeed, cryptocurrencies will soon be ready to take the place of fiat currency for the following reasons.
Each currency must be identical and interchangeable. One dollar is one dollar, and one cent is one cent. The same applies to Bitcoin, Ethereum and all other cryptocurrencies.
Gold would be meaningless if it dissolved in the rain or melted at room temperature. Even banknotes are only durable at some point, with many countries using or about to use polymer banknotes. Cryptocurrencies are purely digital, with data stored on a decentralized network. Unless you lose access to your digital wallet, cryptocurrency is extremely durable.
Fiat currency is scarce or in other words, there is a limited supply. After the 2008 global financial crisis, governments could create more currencies whenever they wanted, but that view did not change. Cryptocurrencies, on the other hand, have different restrictions depending on the currency. For example, there is only 21 million Bitcoin, while other cryptocurrencies may have an infinite supply.
The currency must be divided into smaller units. Dollars are divided into cents. Dollars are divided into cents. Theoretically, Bitcoin can be divided into infinitely smaller units, depending on the value of a bitcoin.
The main purpose of money is to facilitate the exchange of goods and services. Some cryptocurrencies lag behind fiat currency because transactions take too long to verify. But you can still use cryptocurrency to buy a variety of goods and services, just like with fiat money. Cryptocurrencies have all the functions when compared to fiat currency.
>> The Governor instructs to promote non-cash payments
Elite financiers, bankers, business tycoons - a handful of elite people directly control the currencies that we are dependent on. Ordinary people like us cannot influence the market and even when thousands of people combine together nothing would really change.
A core part of this control lies on the supply side. When supply increases, the money value decreases, and vice versa. Those who control the currencies can benefit from such sudden changes in financial markets. Their decentralized system will take global financial control from a handful of elite people and restore them to the public.
It is important to note that cryptocurrencies are most likely to thrive because of the limited supply of fiat money. Moreover, cryptocurrencies that are not directly affiliated with any government will not suddenly be devalued by the actions of a control group. (That does not mean that cryptocurrencies are not devalued through other means.)
Ultimately, decentralization is less manipulative, although it cannot be completely eliminated, it can certainly reduce the level of influence greatly. Cryptocurrencies are not affected by inflation, interest rates, cross-border exchange rates, business taxes, etc.
There are no figures to show exactly how many cryptocurrency users there are. Some people use multiple wallets, on multiple platforms, for multiple currencies. Moreover, many people use new wallets for each transaction, which causes the figures to be inflated.
However, there are a number of charts that track the steady growth of the global cryptocurrency market.
First, take a look at Statista's chart of "Number of Blockchain wallet users worldwide from Q1 2015 to Q2 2018." From there, we can see a steady increase in the number of Blockchain wallet users, reaching more than 25 million users in the second quarter of 2018
Number of Blockchain wallet users worldwide from Q1 2015 to Q2 2018
For a better understanding, here is a chart showing the number of daily active Bitcoin addresses during the same period. The chart peaks (1.13 million active addresses) coincide with the peak Bitcoin price, but also reflect the overall growth in the number of Blockchain wallet accounts:
In fact, if we look at the comparison chart for Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin, we see a similar story:
The two highlights are that the cryptocurrency market seems very similar to the Internet at its early stages of development, namely in 1994. There is a similarity between the growth of crypto assets between 2014 and 2017 and the growth in the number of new websites from 1991 to 1995.
So how many people own cryptocurrencies? The truth is, no one knows. Higher estimates put the number at 50 million global users, or lower at around 10 million.
A sizable (and continuing to rise) number of online retailers accept cryptocurrencies in addition to their fiat currency. Notable examples include:
Etsy (an individual seller)
Private Internet Access
Amazon has not yet accepted cryptocurrencies, but you can use the Purse button (wallet) to identify people willing to use their Amazon gift cards in exchange for your cryptocurrency. You can even redeem coupons for items this way.
You have to trust the banking system because it is dominant, but banks often lose accounts, payments, transfers and more. Moreover, as we often see, despite audits and security regulations, banks are still vulnerable.
On the other hand, no one has hacked the Bitcoin blockchain (at least from the very beginning, when there was a hack of value that generated 180 billion Bitcoins, but the developers had dealt with the hack).
The fact that blockchain almost never gets hacked is even a joke because the first person who hacks the blockchain to conduct Bitcoin transactions through any address will become an instant billionaire (assuming Bitcoin is still worth after such an attack). Finally, until quantum computers can break down blockchain encryption, it will remain safe from hacks.
Your cryptocurrency belongs to you. You keep it in your wallet and store offline, other cryptocurrency users can't keep you away from it, or other blockchain developers can't take money from your wallet. Unfortunately, the fiat currency is the opposite, especially when "protected" in a bank account.
Similarly, creating and monitoring bank accounts is tiring, requires paperwork, and exposes your financial situation to others. You can have as many cryptocurrency wallets as you want, each with different settings, containing different cryptocurrencies and best of all accessible instantly from anywhere in the world.
Nobody knows. But maybe this could not happen right away.
Until then, cryptocurrencies will exist along with the fiat currency as an alternative payment method. Financial institutions and governments have explored cryptocurrency and blockchain applications, and this is not surprising at all.
>> Cashless payment: Drastic need for state management