Some time back, Brisbane international airport started accepting crypto payments. This was a major leap forward for cryptocurrencies, and an even bigger one for Litecoin. That’s because in the month of July, Litecoin had the most transactions at this airport. It goes to show that in the race for adoption, Litecoin (LTC) has a headstart, probably because it is cheap to transact with, and also super-fast to transact. It could be an indicator that the #PaywithLitecoin campaign is bearing fruit.
But while this is a reason for crypto investors to smile, the number of transactions for cryptos at this airport show that crypto adoption is very far off from going mainstream. That’s because in the month of July, more than 2 million people used this airport, and out of those only 39 payments were made using cryptocurrencies. That’s a negligible number in the grand scheme of things, and points to two things. Either people are not willing to spend their cryptos, or most people don’t know about cryptos, and their usability as currencies.
Looking at crypto trends in the last one year or so, chances are that the low levels of adoption are attributable to both of these factors. Starting with the former, there is a huge community of crypto holders in the world, a number that has grown significantly in the last one year. However, after the 2017 pump, most investors are HODLing, with an expectation that prices will go back to their December highs. No one is willing to spend their cryptos even though this would be a great way to spur adoption. The problem with the HODLER mentality that has gripped this market is that many cryptos that are designed to function as currencies, are not getting used for this purpose. For instance, Litecoin is one crypto that has all the attributes of a currency. However, when everyone is HODLing it, hoping for it to get back to 2017 highs, then it defeats the whole essence of it as a currency. This explains the low transaction rates at the airport.
On the issue of low levels of awareness, most people got to learn about cryptocurrencies in 2017. However, after the huge decline in price that followed, public interest in crypto dropped significantly. This explains why Google searches for cryptocurrencies has been dropping all through 2018. As such, people are not using cryptos for payments because most of them don’t even know about them. Others know about them, but are largely disinterested after the price collapse of the last 6 months.
For crypto payments to increase, the general mindset in crypto needs to change. People need to start spending their cryptos, and help create more awareness. Without this change in mindset, the crypto space may find it hard to grow in terms of adoption. As long as everyone is holding and hoping for the price to rise, then overall value will ultimately drop, and many coins will go to zero.