A recent tweet from Coinbase’s Chief Technology Officer has sparked a heated debate over the potential upside of Bitcoin technology. Most notably, the tweet indicated that the cryptocurrency user base should grow massively and increase – not two-fold, three-fold, or even four-fold – with a whopping factor of sixty.
This is not the first time that Coinbase’s CTO, Balaji Srinivasan, has ignited a fierce Twitter discussion. Srinivasan helped found 21 Inc., which was subsequently rebranded as earn.com and ultimately purchased by Coinbase this year.
While at 21 Inc. he tweeted that private blockchain consortiums might be restricting blockchain adoption, which led to a fair amount of attention. Now he is at it again, commenting on a recent survey from Finder on the adoption of cryptocurrency.
The survey reportedly found that a mere 8% of Americans and less than 1% of people worldwide have invested in cryptocurrency. In addition to this, 7.76% of Americans plan to purchase cryptocurrencies in the future, with others citing ”no interest”, ”too risky”, ”hard to understand” and ”scam” as reasons why they would not.
Srinivasan juxtaposed this with the statistic that 63% of the world’s adults own smartphones, meaning that there is existing support for a cryptocurrency user base that could be more than 60 times larger than the current one.
These numbers would seem to indicate that massively increased adoption of cryptocurrencies could be imminent, or at the very least inevitable. An observer, Ryan Sean Adams, commented that the position for anyone who believes in cryptocurrency is, therefore, long-term hold.
Nonetheless, some have cast doubt on the accuracy of these numbers. Some are questioning the validity of the report that 8% of Americans own cryptocurrency, proposing that the survey sample or sampling technique may be misleading.
Moreover, others have also raised the question of whether Srinivasan is correct in linking smartphone users to that of potential cryptocurrency users. Some argued that whilst smartphones are essential necessities, cryptocurrencies are not.
This, however, could potentially change if cryptocurrencies become more widely adopted – as cryptocurrency is as essential a necessity there is. Nonetheless, observers rightly pointed out that it may not be possible to infer the size of potential cryptocurrency adoption solely from the percentage of global smartphone users.
In addition to this, several also commented that if cryptocurrencies are indeed in for a massive long-term increase in adoption, then the more important question becomes what cryptocurrency users should hold, how heavily they should invest in it, as well as when they should rebalance their cryptocurrency holdings.
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