Ed Boyle is CEO at Blade, a payment processing platform that brings digital currencies onto traditional payment rails. In this article, co-authored by co-founder Daniel Delshad, he argues that, in order to cross the chasm into mass adoption, bitcoin needs to connect with existing debit card networks.
The amount of active bitcoin wallets and the number of daily transactions have increased significantly over the past year, but, still, most people have never used bitcoin (nor have plans to, as per a recent Goldman Sachs survey).
While the bitcoin adoption curve is arguably better than that for the Internet, it is slower than that for cell phones. The Internet was under the radar for years and didn’t really take off until a network started to develop and the network effect kicked in.
Cell phone adoption was quicker and steeper, largely because a new network of users wasn’t needed. Cell phones, from the beginning, were interoperable with legacy telecom rails (ie landlines).
To date, the bitcoin industry has been focused on creating a new, distributed network for applications like mining, storage, exchange and commerce.
Arguably, it has fallen short