Why Crypto Wallets will be as common as Email Addresses & Mobile Phones by 2030
It would be inconceivable to ask someone what their email address is and to hear the reply, “I don’t know. I don’t have email.” Yet this type of reply is where we’re at right now in terms of cryptocurrency adoption.
Walk up to any random person on the street, even in a sophisticated city like New York, and ask what their favorite DeFi protocol is or whether they prefer Zcash or Monero. Nine out of ten people will have no idea what you’re talking about.
This early stage of the blockchain technology revolution is just like the internet’s onset in the nineties. It’s a small group of early adopters who understand the technology and how it will change the world. When the internet was just starting out, not many people would have believed that it would eventually ruin the business model for media behemoths like the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. Yet here we are.
Cryptocurrency is the next step in the process. How many people actually believe that digital currencies will replace banks and completely overhaul the global financial system? But that’s the future we’re heading toward.
For this future to happen people are going to need crypto wallets. Ten years from now crypto wallets will be as common as email addresses. Everyone will have a Bitcoin address and sending money around the world will be as easy as sending a text.
Why crypto wallets will be as common as email addresses: Life Before the Internet
Asking when was the internet created is a rather complex question, since it’s not like on Monday there was no internet, but on Tuesday it was humming along. The evolution of the internet started slowly. If we look at the history of internet it took several decades before it was a commercially viable application.
It can be helpful to consider the network doubling over time. From 1 - 2 - 4 - 8 - 16 - 32 - 64, users, etc. The doubling analogy is useful because it shows how in the beginning, you can keep doubling the user base and it has little impact. However, if you have 50 million users and double it to 100 million, that’s a massive leap!
When did email become popular?
It became popular as the number of users doubled to the point where enough people had email to make it useful. The history of mobile phones follows a similar pattern, a doubling of users. The same thing will happen to crypto. Very roughly, we can say that there are over 100 million crypto users now. Watch that number double from 100 million to 200 million, then to 400 million. By tracking the number of crypto wallets we can watch this trend happen in real time.
Why crypto wallets will be as common as email addresses: The Trouble with Change
Human beings don’t like change. We grow accustomed to doing things a certain way and it can be difficult to break out of that pattern. This is especially true as you grow older.
Steve Jobs cited the Hindu saying, “"For the first 30 years of your life, you make your habits. For the last 30 years of your life, your habits make you."
Just because change is difficult though doesn’t mean we can just ignore it. Imagine if people had ignored the internet and gone on living in the same way. Think about how much we would have lost without email, video chatting, data processing, online shopping and the nearly unquantifiable amount of free information that’s now available.
Thanks to the internet someone can now acquire the equivalent of a college education for little to no cost. A student might not get the fancy piece of paper at the end, but neither will they end up with the thousands of dollars of student loans.
Mobile phones allow billions of people to access information and communicate for free. They’re also good for sending payments.
Although it’s not widely discussed in the West, there is a thriving micropayments industry in Africa. Mobile phone users can buy minutes which can be easily transferred between devices. Given the poor payments infrastructure in Africa, this method of transferring minutes has turned into a multi-billion dollar industry.
This is actually really interesting since it allows for a comparison between the mobile phone minutes and Bitcoin. A lot of people will say that Bitcoin has no value and will never be widely adopted as a currency. What we can learn from Africa is that anything can function as a currency. If enough people decide to accept a certain payment a new currency can become the norm.
Why crypto wallets will be as common as email addresses: The Rise of Crypto
Although most of the world hasn’t caught on yet, crypto is the next generation of payments infrastructure. With crypto you can send someone $50 worth of USDC and it takes three minutes to clear, no matter where the other person is in the world.
Try doing that with the existing system. Imagine that you’re an American tourist in South Africa. Even if you’re standing next to a South African merchant, and you want to send them money over the internet, it can take five days and you’ll pay a 10% transaction fee. It’s a maddening experience, especially once you’ve used crypto and know how easily payments can be sent.
If you know the history of email, it’s like having to write letters in the nineties and drop them off at the post office because your friends and family aren’t online yet.
One of the most common misconceptions about crypto is that it’s only for criminals, or that everyone who is in crypto is only using it to avoid taxes. This is simply not the case.
A cryptocurrency like Bitcoin works well as a store of wealth, since it has a finite supply that a central banker cannot manipulate. DeFi is also quite popular, since anyone with an Ethereum wallet can access a wide range of financial services.
While digital assets are poorly understood now, we think that their popularity is going to rapidly increase in the wake of Covid. One of the dominant themes that’s coming up repeatedly is the push toward digitization. Everyone is already well familiar with the Zoom cliche, but the rise of a cashless society is still in its infancy.
As people look for ways to avoid spreading the disease, using credit cards or contactless smartphones payments is the new standard. The problem is that all of these non-cash payments methods are still built on the old infrastructure. It’s like putting a letter on an airplane and flying it across the country. It’s a heck of a lot better than sending it on a truck, but it’s exponentially less efficient than an email.
Crypto will change everything. We can use the blockchain to create and send digitally native assets that are stored in a digital wallet. The owners of these digital assets can be their own banks and control their coins without a third party having access to them.
It’s not just currencies either. Non Fungible Tokens, NFTs, are a type of digital asset that cannot be duplicated. The NFT standard can be used for items like digital trading cards or digital art. In fact, just recently Mark Cuban sold one of his Tweets as a non fungible token. Expect to see a lot more of this in the future.
Why crypto will be as common as email addresses: A New Wave of Crypto Wallets
Technology gets adopted on an S curve. First come the early adopters who appreciate the technology and understand its potential. Only once critical mass is reached amongst early adopters does the broad wave of “regular” users come in. Email was a niche technology, until it wasn’t. Email adoption took off and became the norm, rather than the exception, over the course of five years or so.
The same thing goes for smartphone usage. In less than a decade smartphones went from a brand new technology to being ubiquitous. Today you can buy a smartphone for less than $100 and they’re widely available throughout the world.
Crypto adoption is going to be the same. In all likelihood, by 2030 everyone who has a smartphone will have a crypto wallet as well.
People won’t just use digital asset wallets for sending and receiving transactions, they will function as bank accounts. People will be able to take out loans, pay their bills, make online purchases, send money to their friends, exchange tokens and so much more with their wallet.
In fact, that technology already exists today. For example, the Exodus Bitcoin Wallet already lets you exchange assets directly from within the wallet, you don’t have to send your crypto to an exchange. If you’d like to be one of the early adopters you can download the Exodus wallet on your mobile phone and get ahead of the incoming crowd.
The crypto revolution is heating up and the adoption curve is about to steepen dramatically. Learning about this exciting new technology early on can give you many advantages in the years to come.
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This content is for informational purposes only and is not investment advice. You should consult a qualified licensed advisor before engaging in any transaction.