Experts believe that crypto will have a greater impact on the retail industry as more people invest in digital currencies.
Although the cryptocurrency market appears to be in a bit of a slump right now, it’s not hard to see that the industry has grown tremendously over the past few years, especially when looking at adoption.
A recent study found that digital assets will be used more often by Americans to make daily purchases. This is compared to 2021 when the number was 1.08 million. It then rose to 3.6million users.
According to the study’s chief author, the volatility of the crypto market is decreasing due to increasing use of stablecoins as well as central banks digital currencies (CBDCs). This will lead to more people considering these offerings to be legitimate payment options. According to the research, crypto usage will increase by 33.7 million people in the United States by 2022.
This number could rise to 37.2million by 2023. This is a realistic figure, especially considering that the number of investors who have entered the global crypto market has nearly doubled in the past 12 months, particularly when you consider that there are many countries such as India, Brazil, and Hong Kong that have seen a significant increase in their investment. Narek Gevorgian is the CEO and founder at CoinStats, a decentralized finance (DeFi), wallet and crypto portfolio manager.
“Crypto is gaining a prominent place in the financial mainstream in many instances, and not in a zero sum way versus the established market. Millions of people are able to access cryptocurrency transactions via their smartphones. This market is untapped and it is difficult to measure and observe its growth using the economic lenses that we have today.
Retail adoption of crypto is expected to rise
Max Krupyshev is the CEO of CoinsPaid, a crypto payments processor. He believes that although the figure of 3.6million is impressive, it only represents 1% of America’s population. According to Krupyshev, cryptocurrency payments will experience an exponential growth over the next three years.
“I believe we can talk about tens to millions of users in the United States by 2025. Any innovative solution can thrive in the American market. One factor that is driving the adoption of crypto as a daily transactional currency is the ease with which it can be bought and spent by global brands.
He also stated that Asia could surpass America when it comes crypto payments. The region is flexible in accepting new and upcoming technologies. We should also be aware of the increasing popularity of cryptocurrency in African countries. Krupyshev said that there is a high demand for crypto apps as well as alternative investment tools with a low entry threshold.
Cointelegraph spoke with Brandon Dallman as chief marketing officer of the DeFi ecosystem Unizen. He said that the cross-border remittance and retail payments ecosystem had been dominated for a long time by a few players such as Western Union, PayPal, and Stripe. With the rise of cryptocurrency in popularity, people can now bypass issues such as middlemen and high fees. He highlighted:
“Fast Blockchain networks are suitable rails to CBDCs such as the digital dollar, euro etc. The blockchain that can meet the needs of financial institutions such as stock exchanges or clearing houses will prevail. Banks of all sizes are trying to figure out how they can interact with the digital world. They fear being left behind.
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Some are skeptical about crypto’s increasing influence in the retail sector. Ben Caselin (head of research and strategy at cryptocurrency exchange AAX) stated that although we might see custodied stablecoins being adopted in the near future it is highly unlikely that we will be heading toward a crypto payments utopia.
“With greater integration, we can expect to see more regulation and vetting which will not bode well for crypto. Some venues may accept certain tokens, such as a Bored Ape-themed restaurant that will likely accept ApeCoin payments. However, my view is that Bitcoin will eventually be the currency of choice for real-world payments and stores of value utility, even though this doesn’t negate the growth of microeconomics online and offline.
Caselin stated that it was encouraging to see mainstream people get a better understanding of money. He noted that if merchants and corporations can actually hold the crypto assets they are paid with, this could be very exciting.
What digital assets are best suited to retail?
Dallman views Solana ( SOL) to be a leader in facilitating everyday transactions. This is because Solana offers high speeds and low gas fees, making it more accessible. He also sees Bitcoin ( BitcoinTC) becoming more mainstream as legal tender. This will allow for greater popularity of the digital payment medium.
Krupyshev shares a similar opinion. He believes that Bitcoin will be a more popular method of payment than any stablecoin even though most products and services are denominated using U.S. dollars.
Bitcoin is my favorite candidate to be a global payment platform. It has proven its viability, having survived multiple crises and more than one crypto winter.
He did admit that it was unlikely that BTC-centric payments will be implemented in mass quantities over the next few years. This is due in large part to the fact production costs are still paid using fiat currencies. They are typically tied to the U.S. Dollar, Euro, British Pound, yen, or yuan.
Gevorgian believes that Ether ( ETH ) and Bitcoin ( ETH _) are the two most likely candidates to become global retail adopters, due to their market dominance and popularity among investors. He said that Bitcoin seems to be working well for larger transactions and will slowly but surely become more viable for smaller transactions as a result of advances in solutions built on top the Lightning Network.
He also suggested that the most used and held cryptocurrencies will gain the most ground in the payments market. As transactional currencies, the 20 largest coins in market capital will prevail.
Contrary to what is being said, Yair testa, COTI’s head of business development, believes that stablecoins are the best choice for retail remittances. Cointelegraph was informed by him:
Merchants and enterprises need to spend a large portion of their revenues to pay their operating costs. They can’t afford to take the risk. They require stability and assurance that their revenues will continue to be worth the same tomorrow as today. “Regulated stablecoins, CBDCs are the preferred payment method over the long-term,” we believe.
Cryptocurrency is accepted by mainstream entities
The popularity of crypto assets has increased rapidly, with many famous brands now accepting digital currencies. Microsoft currently allows its users to pay for its various services, including Xbox Live, Microsoft Apps, and games. — via Bitcoin.
Overstock, an American online furniture retailer, appears to be the leader in crypto shopping. The reason is that the company currently accepts a variety of digital tokens along with Bitcoin, such as Litecoin ( LTC), ETH ( XMR ) and Monero( XMR ). Home Depot, America’s largest hardware store chain, accepts Bitcoin payments via Flexa’s checkout system. This is a crypto payments ecosystem that Gemini supports, making it possible to build a home with just crypto.
Starbucks also has partnered with Bakkt futures exchange, which allows users to pay for their coffee and other digital goods using digital assets. This is also true for American supermarket chain Whole Foods. Recently partneredwith SPEDN, allowing users the ability to purchase all their groceries using BTC or LTC (or both). SPEDN does not only apply to Whole Foods. It also allows users to use their digital holdings at Jamba Juice, Jamba Juice, Regal Cinemas and Baskin Robbins.
AT&T, the first American telecom provider, has offered its clients crypto payments. BitPay is a third-party payment portal that allows users to access the company’s services and offerings using Bitcoin.
Other than the ones listed above, there are many other notable brands that accept crypto payments. These include entertainment company AMC, travel booking agent Travala and American department store franchisee JCPenney. GameStop is also accepting crypto payments.
We are moving into a future in which digital currencies will continue to grow in popularity at an alarming rate. It will be fascinating to see how crypto integrates into the global retail landscape, particularly in terms of competing with or complementing existing fiat payments systems.