Bitcoin is the pioneer cryptocurrency and as such, whatever fate it experiences often has a ripple effect that flows through the entire cryptocurrency market. When the price of Bitcoin experiences an uptrend, most of the 1,384 alt coins in the market tend to record price gains. However, when the price of Bitcoin nosedives, the prices of many other cryptocurrencies also tend to plummet.
The detractors of cryptocurrency know that all they need to do to cause a frenzied stampede of exits through the market is to find ways to discredit Bitcoin or frustrate its usage. Once Bitcoin sneezes, other cryptocurrencies are bound to catch a cold.
However, despite the subtle and sometimes apparent attacks on Bitcoin, there’s no denying the fact that the cryptocurrency is here to stay. Below are key takeaways from the results of a large-scale survey conducted by SurveyMonkey and the Global Blockchain Business Council on the current state and future prospects of the cryptocurrency.
The study showed that as many as 6 out of 10 Americans have heard about Bitcoin even though detractors would want you to think that Bitcoin is only relevant among a small cult-like group of enthusiasts.
Out of the 5,000 respondents, only 5% currently own Bitcoin; yet, 21% of respondents have indicated interest to add Bitcoin to their portfolio. A 21% increase the number of people adding Bitcoin to their portfolio can only mean a positive boost for the cryptocurrency because of the latent upside potential.
Speaking of upside potential, 69% of respondents are optimistic about the outlook of Bitcoin and they are looking forward to an exponential price gain in the next 5 years. In 2017, Bitcoin rewarded investors with more than 1,420% increase in its price. In the last five years, the cryptocurrency has delivered more than 4,480% in price gains. Only 13% of respondents believe the alarmist cries of detractors that Bitcoin will fall. Interestingly, a glance at trendlines on BTC charts suggests that the cryptocurrency is poised for another breakout that will set the pace for 2018.
The U.S. government hasn’t adopted draconian laws against Bitcoin but its agents don’t miss any opportunity to amplify the risks inherent in cryptocurrency. Yet, about 24% of respondents said they’ll be more comfortable trusting Bitcoin as a store of value than a U.S. government backed currency.
Nonetheless, it is instructive to note that 38% of respondents think that Bitcoin is a bubble that might burst this year. However, the voice of alarmists tend to be the loudest because 31% of respondents also indicated that they believe the U.S. stock market is in a bubble set to pop this year. 27% of respondents also think that the housing market is in a bubble that might pop this year.
A major challenge suppressing the mainstream adoption of Bitcoin
One of the major challenges delaying the mass-market adoption of Bitcoin is the high transaction costs of sending/receiving the cryptocurrency. The speed at which a transaction will be confirmed for it to be considered complete on the blockchain is dependent on how much you are willing to pay in transaction fees. Unfortunately, transaction fees for Bitcoin stands somewhere around $19; and paying a significantly lower fee could have your cryptocurrency stuck in the 85,013 unconfirmed transactions that are yet to get the attention of miners on the blockchain.
The second major challenge slowing down the mainstream adoption of Bitcoin is the massive volatility that the cryptocurrency experiences. Speculative investors who move money in and out of the market as opportunity dictates drive much of the interest in Bitcoin. For instance, Bitcoin has gone from a $20,000 trading price to $10,000 price within the last one month. Hence, the transactional use of the cryptocurrency is being delayed because many mainstream users want their currencies to be stable and not volatile.