The massive rise, and subsequent fall, of the cryptocurrency market penetrated the awareness of a massive portion of the population—if only for a moment.
Interest in the development of the crypto industry has seen a similar appreciation. While the tech-minded among us are busy on their laptops, the majority of us are going about our daily lives, with cryptocurrency stored in the back our minds.
The developers behind the scenes are creating platforms that make cryptocurrency mass adoption possible. Breaking down the adoption gap into subproblems makes the entire process easier. So, what are we looking at?
3 Crypto Integration Obstacles
There are a whole host of obstacles being tackled by tech companies worldwide, competing to emerge as a reliable, widely adopted solution. Today we’ll look at 3 major obstacles preventing cryptocurrencies from widespread use.
Threat to Centralization
Arguably the biggest attraction for crypto enthusiasts is the decentralized nature of the technology. There are other benefits to cryptocurrency transactions, like lower fees and smart contracts, but the idea of redistributing power draws many minds to the growing industry.
While centralized banks are adopting blockchain technology as quickly as they can, they’re incentivized to do so in a manner that allows them to retain control of the currency. This extends to credit card companies and other lenders as well. They’ll do everything they can to stay in control.
On top of the banks’ disinterest lies that of the state. Countries manage their power through centralized currency, to which cryptocurrency poses an incoming threat. While blockchain is almost certainly here to stay, its decentralized attributes are going to be curtailed in favor of centralized versions. We can see this idea being explored already, however, it has not gained much ground.
In short, the current system is set up to favor the rich and powerful. A purely decentralized currency would shift power to the masses. The people who think that’s a bad idea are the same people who have the means to prevent it from happening.
Usability and Convenience
Foundational knowledge needs to be built before one invests in blockchain and spends their crypto, and that foundation takes time. Before the average consumer pays for their coffee with Bitcoin, there are a number of steps that need to occur.
The people making the first steps are employed by marketing agencies and running companies. It’s also the early investors looking to make a solid ROI. Blockchain will take time to be understood by these individuals. It’s not that they need to understand the space in full, they simply need to understand enough about the technology to know how it can benefit their businesses—and our lives.
As more companies roll out products that run on blockchain technology, their customers will need to know enough to use the product. Whether that’s “none at all” or “just a little,” a general understanding will begin to spread.
As blockchain companies create utility products that make investing in crypto easier, more investors will make the leap. In a way, the market’s technology and potential users are being encouraged to meet in the middle.
Depending on how government regulations are applied, the adoption of cryptocurrencies could be perceived as a simple software upgrade for our monetary system. As the technology continues to develop and an ecosystem is established, price volatility should begin to subside. It’s a lot easier to use Bitcoin if you’re not worried about it depreciating in value tomorrow.
Ideally, we’ll get to a point where the average person has a crypto option as simple to use as PayPal.
In the last year alone, there’s been a noticeable shift in the public’s perception of cryptocurrencies.
In September 2017, LendEDU conducted a poll, asking 1,000 American adults a series of questions about Bitcoin. The first question, “Have you heard of Bitcoin?” gave the researchers a general sense of Bitcoin’s relevance. Participants who responded “Yes” had their answers recorded.
At this point in time, it was reported that 78.6% of those surveyed had heard about it, with a higher likelihood of younger respondents answering yes.
While it’s true that a majority had heard about Bitcoin, less than half of that 78.6% knew it was legal to own, while an even greater percentage were unsure altogether.
Source: LendEDU Sept. 2017
One possible reason for the uncertainty surrounding Bitcoin is its association with nefarious transactions. To some, cryptocurrencies sound scary, which would explain why so many people have heard of them, but choose to stay away. The name itself suggests a dark economy, one that operates outside of government regulation.
An unwillingness to participate was evident after surveyees were asked, “Do you plan on investing in Bitcoin as an asset for the future?”. A clear majority of participants were either uninterested or unsure whether they would or not.
In a subsequent poll conducted in October 2017, 1,000 American adults were asked about Ethereum, Ripple, and ICOs. The results revealed that 31.6% had heard of Ethereum, 22.2% had heard of Ripple, and almost 25% had heard about ICOs.
While these polls don’t give us a comprehensive understanding of the public’s perception of crypto, they do give us a decent place to start. It shows us there’s still a lot to learn about blockchain, and that the public will need a reason to look into the benefits of decentralized public ledger technology before opting into it.
In a 2018 survey conducted by SharePost, it was revealed that demand for cryptocurrencies is expected to rise, and that 60% of crypto owners are anticipating mainstream adoption by the year 2025.
It was also revealed that convenience and security are high on the list of things to improve, and that bank and ATM integration would lead the way in regards to convenience. As for security, there is still a reasonable concern about the growing amount of cyber attacks on exchanges, as well as the continuing rise of crypto complaints filed with the CFPB.
The 3 obstacles listed above are general problems that need to be solved before mass adoption can occur. Since each of these issues can be broken down into a variety of subproblems, it’s likely we’ll see individual companies solving pieces of the technological puzzle.
One of these companies is UTRUST, and they’re aiming to establish a secure transaction platform for buyers and sellers alike.
UTRUST: PayPal’s Crypto Contender
As it stands today, consumers have come to expect transactional security. Reputable ecommerce platforms are backed by robust systems designed to ensure their protection. According to the UTRUST whitepaper, one largely untapped area is digital transactions for physical services.
While the area is currently being serviced by centralized financial institutions, the need for a trusted mediating service is likely to increase as interest in crypto rises.
UTRUST will be a revolutionary payment platform that enables buyers to use their favorite cryptocurrency in order to pay sellers (private or merchants). We provide sellers with the safety and convenience of receiving funds in fiat currency, and offer the best consumer-protection to buyers, by acting as trusted mediators.
UTRUST is setting out to become PayPal’s crypto contender.
It doesn’t take long to determine which online sellers you can trust. The best sellers have plenty of testimonials to ease your doubts, and if there’s an issue, the platform likely has a buyer protection program to minimize risk.
What happens when buyer protection isn’t an option? It’s like comparing Amazon to Craigslist. Amazon will cover their users, but Craigslist is much less involved in transactions. When using cryptocurrency as payment, the internet needs to be involved. You can’t just pay cash, and if there isn’t a trusted mediator, risk increases.
This is where a platform like UTRUST could be useful. If, for example, there’s a mislabeled delivery, buyers will have the opportunity to handle the issue amicably. If there’s no solution, a UTRUST mediator will collect evidence and issue a refund to the decided party.
Buyers will be able to make payments with a variety of popular cryptocurrencies, or pay with the UTRUST Token for discounted fees and improved purchasing power.
Sellers Protected from Volatility and High Fees
Merchants have the opportunity to increase their revenues by accepting cryptocurrencies, without the hassle of market fluctuations.
Sellers won’t have to worry about exchanging their payments manually, or missing the opportunity to serve a growing group of crypto-enthusiasts.
When a merchant makes a sale using ecommerce platforms like Ebay or Paypal, a fee is charged to their bottom line. For a $100 sale on eBay, merchants would be charged about $11.50 from eBay, then an additional $3.20 from PayPal—a total of 14.7% of the sale price.
With UTRUST, sellers are charged 1% of the transaction amount, to pay for the exchange and a small commission fee.
In addition to this simple solution, UTRUST will provide mediation for seller disputes, and remove the possibility of chargebacks, fraud, and stolen credit card information.
While the UTRUST Token (UTK) was released into the bull market of Q4 2017, the price has fallen with the rest of the market. If this project is of interest to you, now would be a great time to do your due diligence.
Aside from the value offered to potential users, their whitepaper has this to say about UTK:
For contributors, we aim to provide an opportunity to fund a platform with real value in its operating business model beyond mere token speculation. The UTK will not only have a role in the UTRUST Platform as an accepted token alongside other cryptocurrencies offering the advantage of fee waiving, but will also be synergistically tied to the platform in a strategic value coupling. Each time a buyer pays with any cryptocurrency via the UTRUST payment platform, a small percentage of the transactional fee is removed from the market and burned in the form of a UTK. This reduces the UTK supply further driving demand, the adoption of the platform, and the value for contributors.