Crypto Adoption in the World: How is Cryptocurrency Being Used?
News of cryptocurrency has been prevalent throughout the year. In April, Bitcoin peaked at $63,729.50 but soon dipped to a range of $30,000 in June while Ethereum reached its all-time high of $4,070 in May. With extreme price swings and two of the biggest cryptocurrencies peaking in the first half of the year, investors have begun to take interest in digital currencies.
A report by crypto exchange Gemini revealed that more than 21.2 million adults - about 14% of the U.S population - have invested in cryptocurrency. Moreover, the global user base of cryptocurrencies increased by nearly 190% in the last two years, as reported by Statista. The increase is also reflected in the rise of crypto-related activities amongst financial institutions and businesses.
Altogether, these efforts aid in driving crypto adoption globally. But of course, there are a number of other use cases of crypto at present. Here, we discuss some of the ways cryptocurrency - and the technology behind it - is being used and implemented globally.
Finance and Investment
Not only has there been a rise in the number of retail investors that have chosen to park a portion of their money in crypto, traditional financial companies, too, have made the option of investing in cryptocurrency available to their customers.
Morgan Stanley is said to be the first American investment bank to offer its high net worth clients access to Bitcoin funds. In March of this year, it revealed that it would offer its clients with aggressive risk tolerance access to three funds that enable ownership of Bitcoin.
A month after the announcement, Goldman Sachs disclosed in April that it would be making Bitcoin funds available to its high net worth clients in a bid to speed up the institutional adoption of digital currency. Wealthy clients of the investment bank will soon be able to invest in cryptocurrency through a new Digital Assets Group. The group was set up within the bank’s private wealth management division.
While cryptocurrency is known to be a volatile investment product, the increase in the number of users investing in virtual currency shows that demand is high. Prices may often dip and rise, but investors are beginning to believe in the technology behind cryptocurrencies that can help to propel other decentralized initiatives in the future.
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Another reason for the rise in popularity could simply be the FOMO (i.e. fear of missing out). With many individuals starting to invest in crypto, more users have jumped on the bandwagon. Also, the influence from big names such as Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, has started to encourage individuals to invest in crypto.
Besides investments, cryptocurrency can be used as a form of payment on a variety of platforms. While it is not widely adopted yet, there are already numerous corporations that have included cryptocurrency as a payment option for their users.
In March, Paypal revealed that it has started allowing American customers to use cryptocurrency assets as a method of payment for a number of its online merchants globally. This would enable customers who hold digital currencies in PayPal digital wallets to use their crypto assets at checkout to make purchases. And that’s not all - Visa made headlines when it revealed that it would allow the use of USDC to settle transactions on its payment network.
With such payment methods implemented, users now have the choice to make their purchases with either fiat or digital currencies. This further propels the adoption and use of cryptocurrency as a payment method for the future.
Cryptocurrency has also been used by businesses to drive organization growth and user acquisition in a number of ways.
For one, financial institutions and retail companies have begun supporting digital currencies in order to offer such payment methods to their users. To ensure payments via crypto, a handful of firms in the Fortune 500 list including Apple, Walmart, and Amazon have publicized job listings for crypto experts.
Additionally, Bank of New York Mellon reportedly invested in cryptocurrency custody firm Fireblocks, which is known to be a market leader in offering secure technology to support digital asset services. And if that’s not impressive enough, American digital payments giant Square Inc. also began to support Bitcoin with its own investments. It announced in February that it would be investing $170 million more in Bitcoin, on top of its $50 million Bitcoin purchase in October of last year.
The emerging crypto market is not only attracting retail investors, but also huge traditional financial institutions and large corporations that are looking to profit from the emerging trend of digital assets. This helps them to further scale their businesses in line with the advancements of digital technology while expanding their payment options to provide increased variety - and convenience - for users.
Gaming and Design
Another type of cryptocurrency is non-fungible tokens (NFTs). NFTs are crypto tokens that represent a distinct digital asset. Since each NFT represents a unique feature, they offer different values that are not interchangeable. Known to be part of the Ethereum blockchain, NFTs are equipped with additional information that enables them to be produced in the form of JPG, GIF, and MP3. Moreover, NFTs are also a digital certificate of ownership of authentic collectibles such as artworks, gaming characters, and digital products.
NFTs have been used in many industries. Most recently, Vogue Singapore revealed its first-ever NFT collection known as NFT mystery boxes, which contain artwork that captures the sunrise in 10 major international cities. The fashion magazine stated that the aim of this initiative was to bridge the gap between the gaming and crypto communities with digital investors, tech-savvy individuals, and luxury brands.
Furthermore, Team Great Britain was reportedly the first Olympic team to launch a series of NFT collectibles curated specially for fans to support its athletes. With no spectators allowed at the games, these digital collectibles make for a great way for fans to support the athletes.
NFTs have arguably shifted from being in an unknown part of the crypto and blockchain space to one that occupies substantial significance within pop culture. Plus, NFTs have also been adopted in the gaming industry as collectible items and tokens. By having in-game NFT items, players have full control over what they buy, earn, or create. These items would be known as rare and thus, can be sold - and bought - on secondary platforms and used in different games.
There are a ton of use cases for cryptocurrency from payments to the creation of collectibles. While investing in crypto has become commonplace, these other uses of cryptocurrency play an integral role in spearheading the advancements of crypto adoption in the future.
And if you’re one who invests in virtual currency, remember to deposit them in interest-earning accounts like Hodlnaut. This will help you earn compound interest to maximize the productivity of your crypto holdings.
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