Blockchain’s Mainstream Adoption: Are we there yet?
What is Mainstream Adoption?
The blockchain industry is obsessed with the term “mainstream adoption.” However, mainstream adoption is not the same as mainstream awareness. Currently, while I am an advocate of mainstream adoption, I think we are still just at the stage of mainstream awareness.
Nowadays, we can read a lot about cryptocurrencies and blockchain updates from many mainstream media outlets. Bitcoin has gained a lot of social media hype because of its recent surge. More and more people are being aware of cryptocurrencies, but not many people are adopting cryptocurrencies for practical use.
Current Crypto Climate
Since Bitcoin’s creation in 2008, the blockchain industry has grown a lot in terms of market capitalization. As of the time of writing, the cryptocurrency market has now topped $2.2 trillion in total market capitalization as per CoinMarketCap.com. A year ago, Bitcoin was trading at the $6,800 levels. This month, Bitcoin reached its all-time high at the $64,800 level, which is a whopping 852% increase versus last year. The market is currently on a bull run and a lot of mainstream media outlets have consistently covered cryptocurrency news during the past year.
From Exclusivity to Accessibility
While many Bitcoin advocates would argue that the current crypto climate is already the beginning of mainstream adoption, I believe we have not yet reached that point. Mainstream adoption, for me, is not simply the introduction of Bitcoin in trading platforms or some 1-hour news features on mainstream media and online communities. These, of course, are steps towards mainstream adoption, but in reality this is only mainstream awareness. I am arguing that Bitcoin must move from exclusivity to accessibility in order to really claim successful mainstream adoption.
What do I mean by this? As of the time of writing, just a little over 0.05% of Bitcoin addresses hold 62.69% of the total Bitcoin in the market according to BitInfoCharts.com. That is only 16,145 addresses of 33.3 million addresses holding $715 billion out of the total market cap of $1.14 trillion. If we want to achieve a realistic mainstream adoption, we should see Bitcoin distributed from just a handful of individual holders to 80% of the world that live in unstable economies, thus moving from exclusivity to accessibility.
This is not to say that the current crypto climate is in itself bad. It is just too soon to say that the current situation is already the mainstream adoption that the blockchain industry has always longed for. Looking back to the early blockchain days in 2009–2011 and comparing it to today’s industry outlook, we can say that we have come a long way, but we still have to wait a little longer for this mainstream awareness to be converted to mainstream adoption.