I hear “mass adoption” being used to describe a watershed moment in cryptocurrency. Set to occur at an undetermined point in the future with subjective criteria and unknown metrics, this moment is the financial world’s Rubicon crossing. But considering the events and developments of 2021, it doesn’t make sense to use this phrase in the future tense: we’ve already reached it.
My extensive research (read: searching “mass adoption” and looking at the first ten results) brought me to CryptoDefinitions:
Mass adoption is defined as an event where cryptocurrencies are accepted and used by the public on a large scale. It involves the use and acceptance of cryptocurrencies as a common and regular payment method in various outlets, such as stores, online shopping websites, hotels, etc.
There's no shortage of these. Sure, you can’t walk into Walmart and buy a cart full of groceries with crypto, but if this is defined as adoption, we’ll be waiting until Silent Generation shareholders who GUH over a 0.2% quarterly loss can be convinced that it’s a good idea to accept magic Internet money that can whipsaw by 20% on a day ending in -y. In other words, forever.
Payment apps that support crypto and dedicated crypto apps are at the top of the finance categories in both the App Store and Google Play Store. NBA Top Shot generated over half a billion in revenue in a year, Sorare partners with plenty of divegrass clubs. Burger King began a promotion for crypto rewards. Yes, I browse /r/superstonk, I know the drill: it’s Robinhood, you don’t actually own the coins, they don’t even buy them when you place the order - but it’s still exposure, work with me here.
People continue to compare this recent market cycle to 2017-2018’s, but it’s not at all similar because of institutional demand this time around. BITO was approved last month and was the second heaviest-traded NYSE ETF debut on record. It took twelve years for the first NYSE Bitcoin ETF to be approved; the second (BTF) was approved three days later. Direct institutional buying continues to set new highs.
Things are still being worked out: a spot Bitcoin ETF by end of year was rejected today, SEC v. Ripple Labs continues, the infrastructure-in-name-only bill’s definitions are clear as mud. It’s not perfect, but it’s here whether we choose to recognize it or not. A fish doesn't know it's surrounded by water.