Barely a day goes by without some sort of debate in the press around cryptocurrency’s capability for longevity. Is it a bubble overdue a burst? Are falling coin prices heralding the end? Alternatively, is it a future mainstream technology simply going through the traditional stages of a hype cycle? Is it the future saviour of the financial health of the developing world?
The theories are endless, but when it comes to what the population of Europe think, the results are in. Research into consumer confidence in cryptocurrencies that we have commissioned at bitFlyer has revealed that two-thirds (or 63% if you would prefer) of Europeans across ten countries believe that cryptocurrency will still exist in ten years time.
This study of 10,000 people across Europe reveals that, in fact, more than half of the population of every single one of the ten countries included in the research believe that cryptocurrencies will stick around for the next decade. In Norway, an overwhelming majority of 73% believe this to be the case, whilst over half (55%) of the population of the country with the least confidence, France, still express belief in the lasting power of the virtual coin.
The results of the study demonstrate a welcome backing of the robustness of the concept of cryptocurrency, but nonetheless demonstrate that more education around use cases for the technology is needed. Whilst respondents were, in the majority, confident that cryptocurrency will still exist in 2029, when asked about how, for example, bitcoin will be used in the future, the results demonstrated a high level of uncertainty.
Almost 1 in 10 (8%) Europeans believe bitcoin will be fully ingrained into society as a form of currency in 10 years’ time, whilst 7% believe it will be used as a security or investment. According to the research, men are more optimistic than women with regards to the capability of bitcoin to become a fully fledged additional form of currency; 9% versus just 6% of women.
Geographically, Poland and Italy top the countries who believe bitcoin could become a form of currency with 10% of both countries believing this. The UK on the other hand sits at the bottom of this ranking, with just 6% believing in bitcoin becoming a form of currency in the future.
So what does this all say about where we stand as a cryptocurrency industry? At bitFlyer we believe that the results indicate that the reputation of virtual currency has moved beyond the hype and has become more established. It’s easy to forget just how young the concept of a ‘cryptocurrency’ is; we’ve only just this year celebrated bitcoin’s 10th birthday, so for the majority of consumers to believe in the future of the technology is a significant achievement.
It’s also smart. Without a crystal ball, perhaps we can’t see exactly how cryptocurrency will be used in 2030, 2040 or 2050, but having confidence in the concept shows how insightful the population of Europe is when it comes to tech. When Amazon launched to sell books in 1994 and subsequently lost 90% of its stock value in 1999 there were many people who took the opportunity to buy shares at rock bottom prices. Even these people may not have predicted that Amazon would become an ecommerce behemoth valued (however briefly) at $1 trillion, but their faith in the concept seriously paid off.
The next step for the crypto industry is to continue to inspire faith in the virtual currency concept by better promoting the benefits of and use cases for cryptocurrencies to consumers through education, education, education. Indeed this may need to start from a mainstream perspective by explaining what is really meant by ‘bitcoin’ or any other virtual currency. Only by demonstrating how cryptocurrencies can and will be used in mainstream society and providing a tangible vision for the future can we hope to maintain and increase the number of Europeans keeping the faith in crypto.