Bitcoin has no shortage of doubters. In recent months we have seen multiple studies come forth suggesting a negative future for the divisive coin. In a welcoming stroke of news, a new study suggesting a positive outcome for BTC was just released. Commissioned by eToro, the study was aptly titled ‘Cryptocurrencies: Overcoming Barriers to Trust and Adoption’.
Working together, the Imperial College of London and eToro took a closer look at the current and future attributes of the leading cryptocurrency. Although in its current state it does not function as a true currency, it has the potential to – and soon.
Is it a currency?
Bitcoin was evaluated by using three primary criteria for determining its validity as a currency.
- Unit of Account
- Acting as a measure of value in the economic system
- Medium of Exchange
- Facilitating the exchange of goods and services by eliminating the inefficiencies associated with a barter economy
- Store of Value
- Allowing individuals to make intemporal choices on when to spend their purchasing power.
It has long been agreed upon that BTC already achieves the final point. Many view it as a fantastic store of value due to its deflationary nature. The first two come down to technological and regulatory progress. Both of which are rapidly evolving. With network upgrades like the Lightning Network on the way, and the SEC stating that it is not a security, good things are on the horizon.
In the paper there are many bullish statements. One such statement is as follows: “There’s a lot of scepticism over cryptocurrencies and how they could ever become a day-today payment system used by the man on the street. In this research we show that cryptocurrencies have already made significant headway towards fulfilling the criteria for becoming a widely accepted method of payment.”
Hurdles yet to be cleared
Overall, the research team settled on six hurdles that must be cleared before Bitcoin usage becomes the norm. If cleared, the team believes that true adoption will occur within a decade.
Speaking on commissioning the research, the managing Director of eToro stated, “People have grown used to their view of money as a solid, permanently fixed idea when in fact the opposite is true. The history of money is a history of evolution, of new technology replacing old to improve the transfer of value from one person to another. Cryptocurrencies represent a next step on this journey.”
Paper vs Paper
As alluded to earlier, this positive research paper comes just weeks after the University of Texas released their own. The paper released weeks ago, however, stated that much of the price action seen in 2017 was due to market manipulation. Overall it painted a bleak picture of the cryptocurrency market, and was received in a negative manner. Whether positive or negative, papers released have a direct impact on market sentiment.
While the industry continues to grow and evolve day by day, there are sure to be more research papers in the future painting cryptocurrencies in both positive and negative light. For today, those bullish on Bitcoin and the industry as a whole can smile.