Crypto & Us : Bite 13 (Adoption)
I was thinking of picking up a new crypto today and telling you more about it. But there is so much going around the world related to crypto adoption by countries, financial institutions, large organizations, and almost all the big players, that it almost feels like they are loading up today and getting ready for the years to come so that they don't miss out on this. So today, we’ll see how far have we come in terms of crypto adoption to give you an idea about how the game is really being played on a macro level.
- COUNTRIES: The mighty dollar is slowly crumbling. So are the currencies of 20 countries where the inflation rates are soaring at such a rate that their government-backed paper notes are being used to make paper mache. This is when a small country in Central America decided to take a step and save its people and its money by making Bitcoin (BTC) a legal tender. Yes, the official currencies of El Salvador are Bitcoin and USD. This one move instantly increased the reserves of the nation, provided instant access to a financial setup to all its citizens, and dramatically reduced the costs for the remittances received from abroad. Apart from them, Turkey and Libya are set to be the fastest nations in line towards crypto adoption, Argentina has allowed citizens to take part of their salary in BTC, and Paraguay passed a bill last week to regulate the mining activities and legalize it with friendly laws.
- ORGANIZATIONS: Just try and visualize how early we are in this space when I say that just 1% of the public companies globally are invested in Bitcoin. The wolf leading this pack is Microstrategy, which holds more than 100,000 bitcoins, then we have Tesla, which plans to their BTC as a treasury reserve asset. They also made car purchases available via Bitcoin before the whole Twitter fiasco by Musk which led to the crash that we are still in. Apart from these two big giants, there are many others who have embraced crypto adoption in their own way. Samsung has given users a crypto wallet on their phones, Paypal and Visa allow users to pay in crypto, Expedia is planning to allow crypto payments via Coinbase, Burger King, and Pizza Hut have started accepting payments in bitcoin in Venezuela.
- FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS: Ah! a couple of years ago, they were screaming and calling crypto a scam, are still fearful of it but have eventually realized that they have to embrace it. Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, and Morgan Stanley have set up teams to offer BTC as digital assets to their affluent clients. Global Hedge Funds are rushing to accumulate more and more crypto assets in order to create a diverse portfolio for their clients to invest in. The S&P Dow Jones has launched 3 new crypto indexes, bringing them on the floors of Wall Street. Bank of America has created a team recently to start research on cryptocurrencies. Woori Financial Group, one of the largest banks in Korea has allowed Digital Asset Custody for its customers. While I am writing, at least a dozen more financial giants are exploring ways to get into this space faster.
- GOVERNMENTS: Apart from a lot of smaller nations and their governments who have embraced this digital revolution with open arms, a lot of other countries have welcomed it in their own way. The banks in Switzerland are allowed to offer Bitcoin and other Cryptocurrency derivatives to their customers. Singapore has declared that Bitcoins will be viewed as goods and are tradeable. In Hong Kong, bitcoin is exempted from VAT and capital gains tax. Germany is the most recent one that has allowed the country’s, ‘Spezialfond’ or special funds to allocate up to 20% of their portfolios in cryptocurrency assets.
- YOU & I: In the early stage of its existence cryptocurrencies were just things that techies use. Over the years, as these projects stood the test of time and slowly started becoming mainstream, people started shifting their views about them too. This is what led to the gradual adoption and eventually, it derived its value because the people said it has value. You no longer needed a government or a third party to validate it because it was foolproof on its own.
Here were are, halfway through 2021 with so much happening in this space already. The world is adopting cryptocurrencies at a faster rate than the internet. That enough should be an eye-opener for you to at least explore this space. So, zoom out and see the bigger picture. The greatest wealth transfer in history is happening now.