A new poll has unearthed a deeply conflicted picture of what the next 10 years holds for Bitcoin.
The peer-to-peer trading platform Paxful surveyed 500 American adults who have at least some understanding about cryptocurrencies.
Almost 50% of respondents believe “a triggering event in the traditional financial system” will cause a surge in Bitcoin use—somewhat fitting given how it was invented in the immediate aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis. (This poll was taken in the first two weeks of March, when social distancing orders were first trickling out. Meaning, it’s difficult to know how much the worsening coronavirus pandemic held much sway over their answers.)
When asked about how many years it would take for mainstream adoption of Bitcoin to be achieved, 38% of respondents estimated it was six to 10 years away, with an average answer of 8.1 years across all participants.
However, not everyone agrees—37% believe that the cryptocurrency bubble will burst over the next six to 10 years, with an average answer of 7.8 years. Just 6.6% of respondents said they believe these assets will manage to level out and maintain a steady rate.
Reasons to be cheerful
The Paxful poll also gave an insight into attitudes toward blockchain and cryptocurrencies. More than half of those polled (56%) believe blockchain is going to transform the world—and that this technology could have ramifications for digital identity, data management, audit trails, contracts, and automated governance.
Again, there were a fair share of cynics in the poll. Almost 40% said there is an excessive amount of hype around blockchain, while 34% said blockchain faces a myriad of challenges including security issues, slow widespread adoption, and barriers from society, organizations and governments.
Close to 70% of respondents believe that Bitcoin will be used for mainstream, real-life payments at some point in the future, while 50% say the cryptocurrency has potential to combat inflation and corruption. (Indeed, BTC has been a popular asset in countries ravaged by hyperinflation—Venezuela and Zimbabwe among them.)
But a sizable chunk of those polled (31%) believe Bitcoin will ultimately be used for nothing. Again, it’s roughly one third that believe Bitcoin will fade away.
Perhaps unsurprisingly given that this was a poll of U.S. adults, 64% said that they believe America will lead the cryptocurrency movement this year. The United Kingdom was second at 40%, Southeast Asia third at 32%, and Europe fourth at 31%. Interestingly, this appears to be completely at odds with usage statistics about cryptocurrencies, with a recent report from the Economist Intelligence Unit suggesting that people living in developing markets are twice as likely to use these assets.
When asked about what will drive the next wave of cryptocurrency adoption, four key drivers emerged. While 57% said mobile mining would boost usage, 49% said a surge in popularity would be triggered by institutional investors. A resurgence in altcoins and the enterprise use of blockchain infrastructure were also cited as having potential to spur growth—but as reported by Modern Consensus, a substantial decline in the funding devoted to enterprise blockchains has the potential to put paid to this last idea.
Paxful has said the survey “highlights a continued belief in a positive future for digital currencies”—and claimed they could have the ability to address “corruption” that has emerged in the traditional U.S. financial system.
The trading platform’s CEO, Ray Youssef, said: “We have always believed that cryptocurrency and blockchain had the power to break down the barriers that prevented financial inequalities in emerging markets.”
He added, “We are now seeing those same practices and beliefs come to life among world superpowers and are excited to be a part of what will hopefully be the beginning of a new and improved financial system.”