How do we bring people into the crypto ecosystem to facilitate mass adoption?
In Part 1, I discussed the reasons why people become interested in this ecosystem. Now, I'll touch on the physical ways people go from no-coiners to crypto nerds.
For the average person, mining nowadays is incredibly difficult and not always profitable, depending on the cost of electricity and hardware. It also requires specialized knowledge to set up, making the barrier to entry way higher than say, just buying and holding bitcoin.
Furthermore, proof-of-work mining difficulty continues to increase over time, making it not the best choice for someone relatively new to crypto. Additionally, as mining has become more competitive, specialized ASIC hardware has further increased the barriers to entry. Furthermore, there are growing concerns over the centralization of the mining pools, with Bitmain’s pool controlling over 50% of the Bitcoin hashing power. Mining will continue to be an important topic moving forward as we learn what consensus models work and what doesn’t. However, for these reasons, a focus on mining may not be the route to mass adoption.
The easiest way to get into crypto is to exchange fiat currency for coins. Coinbase has made a fortune on this on-ramp process, and is now valued at over $4 billion. Exchanges and crypto education companies have been popping up everywhere, helping to encourage non-technical people to participate in the ecosystem. However, would the average person be likely to give up their hard earned USD for a volatile, speculative asset such as bitcoin? I think not; most people are not cut from the technology/finance/crypto cloth, so to speak.
While companies are making it easier to participate in the new digital economy, the UI/UX still has some work to do before my grandma can purchase crypto on her own. For these reasons, I’d argue that buying cryptocurrency with fiat may not be the huge catalyst to mass adoption that we are hoping for. Additionally, when prices are higher in the future, people will be further deterred from purchasing cryptocurrency because they may feel that they have missed the boat.
The idea of performing online tasks in return for cryptocurrency is not a new idea. In fact, back in the early days, you could write for magazines and get paid in bitcoin. The co-founder of Ethereum, Vitalik Buterin, wrote for Bitcoin Magazine in 2011, getting paid five bitcoin for each article. Additionally, companies have formed to allow users to reply to emails and complete online tasks in exchange for bitcoin. Earn.com was created for this exact purpose, and has since been acquired by Coinbase (go figure).
Taking this concept a step further, Latium has created a way for new and experienced crypto enthusiasts to earn without giving up USD. Latium allows companies to post surveys, social media tasks, and attract beta users, paying people in crypto for their time. Users of Latium can perform these tasks, and get paid in the Latium (LATX) native token. Users can then easily convert the LATX token to bitcoin or a USD stablecoin. The Latium token is now trading at approximately $.0075 USD.
The idea of earning cryptocurrency in exchange for one’s time is a simple, yet powerful concept that should not be overlooked. If done effectively, this concept could lead to the next 100 million people joining the next generation digital economy. The journey to mass adoption will not be easy, and it will take time. However, we can all take small steps to contribute to the community and build the digital future that we want to live in.