Despite minimal attention from major cryptocurrency institutions.
Allow me to clarify, my ‘Real World’ is defined as the general population. If the whole cryptocurrency industry was one McDonald’s, the ‘Real World’ would be right outside the door. The major cryptocurrency institutions are the employees flippin’ patties. Now, these patties need to be GOOD. Not good for the other patty flippers, but good enough so that folks in the ‘Real World’ decide to walk through the door and order some.
This model applies to everything in business and most of life; to ignore it in the digital crypto-village we all are a part of would be naive. In 2017, many ICOs were making bad patties that they thought would impress their co-workers (the crypto community). There is a crypto echo-chamber and it is a habit that needs to be kicked, if those in the echo-chamber are to succeed in the long run.
Putting this in perspective, there are a lot of positives coming from those who are breaking outside of the crypto Twitter nonsense. For example, the number of Bitcoin ATMs in the world is nearing 5,000, and in the U.S. alone nearly 3,000 machines. Companies like Square continue to grow and dominate the market for buying bitcoin. According to the company’s most recent earnings report, the Cash app’s Bitcoin gateway is processing 10% of the newly minted bitcoins everyday.
So who are these people? And why don't they just make a Coinbase account?
The simple answer is because Coinbase sucks. Coinbase became the bank they set out to destroy. It’s sad to see companies energized with disruptive growth pull a 180 and strive to be the very entity they worked so hard to disrupt.
On the other side, the customer base for these products is hard to put a finger on as well.
To figure out who is behind the retail growth, I went to a local Bitcoin ATM in a beer store and spoke to the owner about the users she sees.
“Oh we get some real wackballs over there,” she told me.
“Some of them look like they just jumped off a train! A little while ago, a man was over there and he looked like one of those guys begging on the street.”
I replied, “What? Really? What was he doing with the machine? Did he understand it?”
She said, “Well, he was having a hard time with the machine so I went over to see if I could help, and he told me he needed to put $7,000 in it, but it wasn’t working. I thought he was joking, but then he lifted up his sock and pulled out a big stack of bills!”
Naturally, I was surprised by this information. Either he was a crack dealer, a guy with $7,000 but no bank account, or he was both a crack dealer and didn’t have a bank account. However, these fine details don’t really matter to the grand scheme of things. What does matter is that folks who would have never had the ability to enter into the crypto-sphere are now able to enter with minimal cost.
If the cryptocurrency community is able to develop solutions for the benefit of the non-crypto society rather than monopolizing the niche market of crypto adopters then, and only then, the people of this world will be able to experience true financial freedom (if you want it) .
We, as a community, would be better served by shifting away from developing gambling dApps, Facebook rip-offs, and ‘World's First’ [Insert Terrible Idea Here], to start thinking of cryptocurrency as a business person would. We have a product and decentralized programmable money — if we fail to acquire customers, then the likes of Zuckerberg, Jamie Dimon, and the countless other elites will. While these big shots have centralized milk toast to serve, we have decentralized jelly toast so why don’t we beat them to it?