Bitcoin has been around for about 8 years now. Introduced in the year 2008 by Satoshi Nakamoto, Bitcoin is a decentralized peer-to-peer digital currency that can be transferred from one person to another without involving any banks or financial institutions. In order to transact with bitcoins all you need is a basic phone. This has made Bitcoin an attractive option for providing mobile banking services to the unbanked in developing and third-world countries where the number of unbanked adults exceeds 2.5 billion.
Even though Bitcoin has numerous advantages over conventional fiat currencies in terms of ease of transactions, economical, faster money transfer across the globe and so on, it is still struggling when it comes to universal adoption. There are multiple reasons preventing wide scale adoption of Bitcoins. Some of the reasons include:
- Lack of understanding
- Fluctuating Bitcoin price
- Synonymous with dark internet
- Uncertainty about regulations
The complex Bitcoin protocol aside, people still have a long way to go before they can come in terms with the concept of digital currency. People are used to fiat currency, where even though you can make electronic transactions, there is always tangible currency associated with it. At the end of the day, even after using electronic banking services, if they choose they can still hold and feel banknotes in their hands. Whereas, with Bitcoin, it is just a sequence of binary code.
Bitcoin prices seems to be on a perpetual roller coaster ride. The value of bitcoin keeps fluctuating reaching as high as over $1000 per Bitcoin and dropping close to $150 within a span of 3-6 months. One look at the Bitcoin price trend is enough to turn even an optimist into a skeptic. The main problem lies in associating Bitcoin’s value with fiat currencies, which is inevitable unless Bitcoin gains universal adoption
Most of the countries don’t have clear-cut laws and regulations when it comes to Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. It has given rise to a lot of questions in the minds of people. They are not sure about the legality of Bitcoins, taxation regimes etc. Even Bitcoin service providers are sometimes in the dark about it. There is also a looming threat of governments coming up with regulations against Bitcoin that may have them see all their hard work and investments go down the drain within a matter of days.
During its initial days, Bitcoins gained more traction among the users of deep web. Bitcoin became the preferred currency for illegal transactions involving drugs, contraband, child porn and even for hiring hitmen. People who had been oblivious of all these things until now are now aware of it, thanks to Silk Road and other similar trials. People don’t want to get themselves knowingly or unknowingly involved in anything related to things that may put them, their life and reputation in jeopardy.
All these things are keeping many people away using Bitcoin. It will probably remain so until the Bitcoin community and governments work together to address their doubts through education and clear regulatory framework.