Bitcoin’s been having a great week. The news that major tech companies like Amazon and Tesla could start accepting Bitcoin as a form of payment has been a huge boon for the coin’s value. The idea that the world’s biggest cryptocurrency could finally start being used as actual currency has investors abuzz with new optimism around the coin’s future performance.
However, some analysts say that Bitcoin needs to cross a major hurdle before it can reach its full potential. A report from Yahoo Finance breaks down a YouGov survey showing that while most Americans have heard of Bitcoin, a clear majority of them have no interest in investing.
Majority of Americans Are Skeptical of Bitcoin
It comes as no surprise that a majority of Americans have no interest in buying Bitcoin. What is striking about the YouGov survey is that so many respondents, from varying age ranges, were aware of the standard to begin with. For years, the refrain from Bitcoin enthusiasts has been that outreach is needed to increase interest in cryptocurrency.
Now it seems that isn’t the case. People know about crypto. Eighty-nine percent of respondents to the YouGov survey said they were aware of Bitcoin, while fifty-six percent of them said they were actively disinterested in investing in cryptocurrency. Of the people who said they were aware of cryptocurrency, only thirteen percent said they owned any themselves, while twenty-seven percent said they might consider investing.
The remaining sixteen percent of the respondents said they were uncertain about the prospect of buying into crypto. This overwhelming hesitation with regards to crypto speaks to an image problem for the standard. How is Bitcoin supposed to grow if even people who know about it are cautious to invest in it?
Crypto Goes on a Rally
Crypto jumped wildly Monday amid widespread speculation that Amazon and Tesla could begin accepting the standard as payment. In the case of Amazon, this is huge news. You can buy almost anything from Amazon, which means that if they decide to start accepting Bitcoin as payment that Bitcoin investors won’t need to convert their crypto to buy the majority of things they might want to spend money on.
This is critical for Bitcoin, as it’s currently more of an investment than a currency. There’s not much you can do with Bitcoin aside from buying it and selling it. If you want to use your cryptocurrency to purchase most standard goods, you have to just sell your Bitcoin. This has been a common criticism leveled at the standard, which has a dark reputation as facilitating illegal transactions on things like weaponry and controlled substances.
Replacing Fiat Money?
Inflation concerns have been rising in the US in the aftermath of the 2020 and 2021 global medical situations. The Fed has been using an extremely loose fiscal policy, and the US government has kept money flowing into the economy to keep the US out of a full-blown economic depression. This has increased inflationary pressures, which some analysts suggest could lead to even less use of cash in the future.
Some crypto enthusiasts say that this means it’s time for cryptocurrency to shine.
“An entire generation is growing up with the awareness that the devaluation of their currency is leading to an inability to get ahead,” writes crypto analyst Anthony Pompliano. “People feel like they can’t afford the basics.”
“If we fix the money, we have a chance to fix the world. We can lift billions of people out of poverty. We can return to free markets where everyone has an opportunity to build a life of wealth, happiness, and freedom. That is what most people want — to simply build a better life for themselves and their families.”
Pressures Keep Bitcoin from Being Accepted
One major hurdle still faces Bitcoin in that arena, though: it’s extremely volatile. Since Bitcoin is seen as more of an investment than a currency, it’s prone to wild swings in value. Just last week, one coin was worth $30,000. The currency is flirting with $40,000 as of the time of this writing. In a week, it could be back to $30,000. That’s far too much volatility for a commonly used currency.
Enthusiasts insist that this volatility would even out if crypto became more widely accepted as a way to pay for goods and services. No central bank or government agency oversees Bitcoin: it’s governed solely by the blockchain that issues it and verifies transactions. This, enthusiasts argue, makes it impossible to fake crypto transactions, making it a perfect way to decentralize finance.
Cash is becoming less popular by the day, and online transactions are the main driving force behind the global economy. Bitcoin looks like a natural fit, but the average person isn’t having it. If Bitcoin really does want to become the currency of the future, there are a lot of hearts and minds out there that need to change.