Mass adoption: will Bitcoin ever be mainstream?
Mar 1, 2018, 7:45:59 AM Published By Wirex Team
A typical innovative technology will linger at the fringes for years or even decades before it spreads. At first, its expensive, inaccessible or considered a fad. Its purpose isnt obvious or hasnt emerged yet. Then, seemingly overnight, we're all using it. More importantly, we can't imagine our lives without it. It happened with everything from fire and wheels, to email and free WiFi. At the moment, the question is this: will cryptocurrencies ever achieve mass adoption?
What is mass adoption?It's the point when enough people use an innovation for its spread to self perpetuate. Users beget more users and word of mouth is the most effective promotion. This can be on a national or global scale. Mass adoption is the point when a subtle paradigm shift occurs. It only takes a small percentage of adopters to kickstart this process.
How does mass adoption happen?Innovations spread in a distinct way, first described by Everett Rogers in 1962. People adopt technologies at different rates, usually in the following order:
- Innovators are theWinklevoss twinsof the world. They get started right at the beginning before anything is proven. They hear or spread the message through their close knit networks. Innovators tend to be wealthy, with a high risk tolerance. Novelty motivates them, not practicality.
- Early adopters end up convincing the following groups. Theyre not as cutting edge as innovators, but theyre influential. Good status and high income ensure their opinions hold sway. Early adopters are usually well educated and can understand complex technologies or ideas.
- The early majority hear about the innovations from early adopters.
- The late majority take longer than average to adopt due to a higher risk tolerance.
- And laggards well, theyre still using fax machines. They adopt innovations well after everyone else and may be resistant to change by choice. While a tiny minority may never adopt, its likely to be inconvenient for them.