We’ve seen the headlines, over and over again. They typically sound something like “Crypto’s becoming mainstream” or “Crypto is about to become mainstream – here’s what to know.” Waves of these headlines come and go, yet crypto still hasn’t fully taken off. Now that the crypto winter is long-over, what will it take? Here’s 6 key steps to taking blockchain mainstream.
Crypto must become more accessible for non-technical users. User-friendly interfaces with the ability to complete transactions and perform other functions with minimal hassle are required.
Blockchain platforms must be able to handle quickly-growing numbers of users and transactions in real-time. This includes having a high level of performance, low transaction fees, and the ability to process a large number of transactions simultaneously.
Globally, different countries have different laws and regulations related to cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology, making it difficult for businesses and investors to navigate the space. In many countries, such as the US, lawmakers have starkly different ideas about whether the industry requires regulation at all. There must be clear and consistent regulation in place to provide stability and security for users and investors. This will also help to prevent illegal activities and promote the responsible use of the technology. This is key to taking blockchain mainstream.
Industry leaders would do well to prioritize this by proactively driving this conversation by adopting concrete risk controls and policies.
Currently, most blockchain networks operate in isolation, making it difficult to transfer value between them. The technology ought to work seamlessly with existing systems and be able to integrate with other blockchain networks. This will make it easier for businesses and organizations to adopt the technology and utilize it effectively.
Blockchain systems need to be secure and resistant to hacking and other forms of cyber attack. This includes having robust security measures in place, such as encryption and secure key management systems. Fortunately, thanks to its use of cryptography and decentralized networks, it does provide high levels of security for financial transactions and identity management.
An example of the importance of security, decentralized finance is a main driver of blockchain adoption, currently sitting at US$49bn in market capitalization. DeFi offers a range of financial services such as lending, borrowing, and trading, all without the need for intermediaries like banks. Generally, DeFi provides more transparency and structure than centralized exchanges (CeFi). This transparency is critical to taking blockchain mainstream.
Education and Awareness
Campaigns aimed at engaging the general public around the benefits and potential uses of blockchain technology are sorely needed. This will create a better understanding of the technology and encourage widespread adoption.
Another current driver of blockchain adoption, NFTs demonstrate the importance of usability, scalability, and why security and transparency are so critical in taking blockchain adoption mainstream. NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, have a market capitalization that sits at nearly US$1.2 trillion. NFTs are unique digital assets that can represent anything from art to music to virtual real estate. Existing companies have increasingly leveraged blockchain technology to boost consumer appeal and enhance their capabilities. Brands that do this effectively are able to attract a larger customer base and stay ahead of the curve as crypto grows in popularity. Tiffany & Co, Balmain, Nike and Starbucks are just a few companies that have integrated NFTs into their platforms in unique ways.
In the world of social media, both Twitter and Instagram have incorporated NFTs into their platforms, with Twitter allowing users to use an NFT as their profile picture and Instagram allowing some users to mint and sell NFTs on their platform.
Taking Blockchain Mainstream
These six pillars will support and allow blockchain to become convenient, useful, and will make financial transactions easy for people throughout the globe.
More Fortune 100 companies than ever before are working on building institutional solutions leveraging blockchain technology. I am excited to see more institutions leverage blockchain data for real-world applications, the continued growth in blockchain and crypto infrastructure, and developer tech stacks that enable more end applications to be built.