Vitalik Buterin, the Ethereum founder, has been known to take to Twitter in order to vent his views on most cryptocurrency and blockchain-related issues. The Russian-Canadian programmer is now at it again, suggesting that there is an exaggerated focus on ETFs although these will not necessarily improve overall adoption.
More specifically, Buterin wrote ”I think there’s too much emphasis on BTC/ETH/whatever ETFs, and not enough emphasis on making it easier for people to buy $5 to $100 in cryptocurrency via cards at corner stores”.
I think there's too much emphasis on BTC/ETH/whatever ETFs, and not enough emphasis on making it easier for people to buy $5 to $100 in cryptocurrency via cards at corner stores. The former is better for pumping price, but the latter is much better for actual adoption.
— Vitalik Non-giver of Ether (@VitalikButerin) July 29, 2018
The proposal that everyone from cryptocurrency enthusiasts to novices would be able to purchase preloaded ”cryptocurrency gift cards” as corner stores is a measure that could dramatically boost adoption.
Furthermore, this is Buterin’s intention, as he noted that cryptocurrency ETFs would be better for ”pumping [the] price” of cryptocurrencies, whilst cryptocurrency cards would be a more practical solution for increasing actual adoption.
These cryptocurrency cards would mainly be used to pay for transaction fees and micropayments within applications, according to Buterin.
Purchasing similar types of gift cards in corner stores are not something new. Online stores such as Steam, iTunes or Google Play have long sold physical gift cards preloaded with a certain amount, which then require the user to activate them.
Bitcoin or other cryptocurrency ”gift cards” would presumably function in the same way, probably being attached to an online cryptocurrency brokerage – meaning that the cards would not merely be paper wallets with an included cryptocurrency balance.
Buterin did not disclose if this is simply him thinking out loud or whether his suggestion might actually see the light of day comparatively soon.
Some preloaded cryptocurrency cards already exist – Bitnovo sells preloaded Bitcoin cards in some stores in Spain, Flexepin is extensively used as a voucher by some cryptocurrency brokers in Canada, and Pundi X is both creating their own cards as well as installing point-of-sale card readers in Hong Kong.
Moreover, Bitcoin ATMs also exist in some capacity, allowing for a certain amount of increased cryptocurrency adoption. However, none of these initiatives come close to having the impact that selling preloaded cryptocurrency cards in every corner store would have.
Buterin also noted that he thinks that the level of cryptocurrency adoption is ”imbalanced”, in that there is currently ”too much investment and not enough usage”.
More readily available ways to get into cryptocurrency ownership would likely increase adoption – especially as a recent Wells Fargo/Gallup poll showed that 26% of investors are intrigued by purchasing Bitcoin.
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