Capital One has a series of ads out that ask "what's in your wallet". This is a very interesting concept that I think few explore.
As I wrote before, few ever ponder the reason why they use a particular currency. It is just a given that we will use the USD, JPY, or GBP depending upon our geographic location. Governments and central banks of the world decide who will use what. People had no currency choice.
The decision is as simple as what is in the wallet. Individuals spend based upon what they are paid in. Receive USD and that is exactly what one will spend. The only deviation from this is for international travel where one will have to convert a currency or Forex traders.
I came across an article the other day that mentioned 25% of Americans are considering buying cryptocurrency over the next 12 months. On this surface, this is wonderful. This figure represents roughly 10% of the American adult population so having that type of mass entry would provide a great boost.
The downside is the word "considering". It is not a very definitive term. Many consider going to the gym yet never leave the couch. Of the 25%, we might see only 10% of them actually do it. Of course, anyone new entering the space helps a great deal.
What does bode well is these people surveyed are at least familiar with cryptocurrency. This is a bonus. In addition, if they are considering buying it, that means they moved past believing the FUD.
While purchasing is a good way to enter cryptocurrency, I feel we need to focus upon getting people to earn it. This is where a blockchain like Steem enters the picture. With all that is taking place of late, the opportunities to earn are only growing. The reward system is expanding with many new tokens representing different communities. Over time, this will reach a mind boggling level.
This will provide a much different answer if someone asks "what's in your wallet".
The sad reality is that most people do not have much money. Blame it on whatever, but we have a fair percentage of the world living in total poverty. At the same time, those who are considered "middle class" are strapped in most countries. Each year there seems to be less of these people as the distribution of wealth moves into fewer hands. What use to be a decent middle class job either does not exist anymore or has seen the pay cut to a level that makes it hard to survive.
My point is that if we are going to see mass adoption of cryptocurrency, the idea of rewards is going to have to take over. Since most cannot buy it, we need to see another approach.
The beneficial aspect of this is that almost all can get rewarded. While the industry is still young and we do not have a mechanism to pay some for his or her data, for example, there are ways people can get rewarded in cryptocurrency.
On Steem, we have a couple dozen applications that are making this true. Many have their own currency which can be converted to any other cryptocurrency out there (with a bit of effort and a number of steps). Even with STEEM, one has the ability to receive a Steem-Engine token and convert it to power up.
Of course, the flip side to this is that we need a place to spend it, another area the industry is a bit slow in developing. Nevertheless, things are moving in the proper direction.
Creating a new economy means we need to get currency in the hands of the people who will use it. For some, this could come from buying but, in my mind, this puts it at the level of an investment. People buy stocks, commodities, and other assets when investing. When they earn, however, things take on a different meaning. Few of us have stock, as an example, as part of our compensation plan. Those that do, look at that part of their pay as speculation (or a long term investment).
It is good to see Bitcoin and Ethereum with tens of millions of wallets. There is encouragement by seeing the number of Steem wallets exceed 1.2M. All this shows growth of the industry.
That said, we need to see a tenfold increase before we see mass impact. I do not believe this will happen through people "buying" into crypto. The investment community simply does not make up the largest percentage of the population.
Instead, the idea of being rewarded for certain activities is what I think should be promoted. It is something that most everyone can do as an entry into this "new economy". Ultimately, we are going to have to see millions making a living via cryptocurrency to be effective.
Another interesting point is what happens once people start being rewarded in tokens. It is then they start to "invest" in projects that capture their interest. This is done both with time (attention) and money (delegation, staking, etc...).
Ironically, by getting people to earn, we then see them turned into investors.
Hence we cover both.
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