Research. Cryptocurrencies may become a mainstream form of payment in 10 years

July 10, 2018


Research. Cryptocurrencies may become a mainstream form of payment in 10 years

Imperial College London and eToro published a new research stating that cryptocurrencies have the potential to become a mainstream form of payment within the next decade.

The authors of the research “Cryptocurrencies: Overcoming Barriers to Trust and Adoption”, Professor William Knottenbelt from Imperial College London and Dr Zeynep Gurguc from Imperial College Business School note that cryptocurrencies are the “natural next step” for money and can become a mainstream payment instrument “within the decade.”

According to the study, cryptocurrencies are already fulfilling one of three fundamental principles of fiat money by acting as a store of value. At the same time they still do not meet two other requirements; acting as a medium of exchange and serving as a unit of account.

Authors point out six main challenges that Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies need to solve to meet these requirements: scalability, usability, regulation, volatility, incentives and privacy.

The paper concludes that the massive use of cryptocurrencies is a natural next step to reduce friction in the global economy.

Professor William Knottenbelt from Imperial College London, said:

“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.”

Iqbal V. Gandham, UK Managing Director of eToro, who commissioned the research, noted:

“The first ever Bitcoin transaction took place a little over eight years ago and today we are already seeing it begin to meet the requirements of everyday money. Given the speed of adoption, we believe that we could see Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies on the high street within the decade. There are of course barriers to mainstream adoption, but they are far from insurmountable. Perhaps the thing that will ultimately tip cryptocurrencies into mainstream is the issue of cross-border payments.”

Dr Zeynep Gurgucfrom Imperial College Business School, added:

“New payment systems (or asset classes) do not emerge overnight but it is worth noting that the concept of money has evolved – even in our lifetime – from cash to digital or contactless payments. The wider use of cryptocurrencies and crypto-assets is the next natural step if they successfully overcome the six challenges we set out in our report.”