While you’d find plenty of forward-thinking businesses accepting Bitcoin out there, cryptocurrency payments largely remain on the brink of mainstream adoption. In a report titled Cryptocurrencies: Overcoming Barriers to Trust and Adoption, Imperial College researchers William Knottenbelt and Zeynep Gurguc posit that digital currencies are slated to become a mainstream payment option within the next decade.
The report argues mass adoption is certainly on the horizon given that cryptocurrencies already fulfil one of the three fundamental criteria of traditional fiat money: namely, acting as a store of value. The remaining two criteria have to do with acting as a medium of exchange (or eliminating the frictions associated with the barter economy) and acting as a legitimate measure of value in the economic system.
The world of cryptocurrency is evolving as rapidly as the considerable collection of confusing terminology that accompanies it, these [decentralized] technologies have the potential to upend everything we thought we knew about the nature of financial systems and financial assets.
– William Knottenbelt
The researchers remark that while new forms of payment have emerged over time, money has persistently retained the same core functions and principles. They further argue that in this sense, cryptocurrencies can offer a viable technological update to the way we spend money – once they fulfil all three fundamental roles of money, that is.