As much as most early adopters don’t like to admit, cryptocurrencies are a consumer product and like any other product in their infancy, crypto needs to resonate with mainstream consumers. The difficulty lies in getting the public comfortable with the idea of crypto, as it is currently portrayed as a technically advanced system. While times are changing and the technology is being adopted, a substantial portion of the public has yet to make the transition.
Baby boomers are the largest and wealthiest demographic of investors, however as a whole they are resistant to change. Crypto completely uproots their understanding of traditional financial systems, so the most efficient way to socialize with this demographic is by providing products and services that parallel what is familiar to them.
One common concern surrounding cryptocurrencies is its misconceived categorization as “fake internet money,” Though, this is far from the truth as there are numerous resources that contribute to the sustainability of crypto, such as application development, mining data centers and community support..
Skeptics of bitcoin, take issue with the intangibility of digital currency. This segment perceives crypto as something that one cannot hold or see, and therefore has no real value. Tying an investors’ digital currency to a material asset will give consumers a sense of security.
This means creating real world crypto counterparts to existing financial systems. Bitcoin ATMs are a perfect example of this process. By allowing a consumer to purchase cryptocurrencies through an ATM system nearly identical to a traditional teller machine, bitcoin becomes a more familiar concept. The customer needs to understand that acquiring crypto is as easy as withdrawing cash from their local bank.
A physical brick and mortar “crypto bank” can aid in transitioning those more resistant to change. Beginners will be able to speak face to face with a professional who can guide them through the process. Purchasing crypto, storing a private key, acquiring a cold wallet, and transferring funds are all technical tasks that the majority of the population will not feel comfortable doing. Institutions similar to banks may be necessary to gain public support, especially from older demographics.
Additionally, banks can serve a dual purpose by acting as a comprehensive crypto brokerage. Bitcoin is not the only cryptocurrency out there, much like how the American Dollar is not the only legal tender. The number of alt-coins being released on the market is growing exponentially, with each serving a specialized purpose. Purchasing bitcoin with fiat is confusing for certain individuals, so the process of converting cryptocurrency can be a daunting task.
Although many have heard of bitcoin mining in casual conversations, the actual process remains a mystery to most. The population should be educated on the technical details surrounding bitcoin mining at home and at data centers. Cryptocurrency infrastructure will need to grow in order to meet the increase in demand and this cannot be accomplished without the support of the public and government authorities.
In order for crypto to enter public markets, consumers must accept bitcoin as a legitimate asset. Implementing services that parallel existing financial institutions will encourage skeptics to embrace digital currency, and should be heavily considered to achieve mainstream crypto adoption.