Is cryptocurrency going mainstream? Yes, but there's more to the story Published: February 09, Jim Barth Lowder Eminent Scholar in Finance Decrease Font Size Increase Font Size Article body The recent market highs reached by Bitcoin, Ethereum and other major cryptocurrencies have sparked a dramatic uptick in interest in this year-old class of digital currency. Fueled in part by renewed coverage in mainstream media and announcements of large purchases by hedge funds and traditional investment pools, Bitcoin and a handful of other leading cryptocurrencies are rapidly becoming embraced by merchants, financial institutions and consumers alike.
Many experts believe that the higher-profile cryptocurrencies are on the brink of an explosion in popularity and value in the coming years. The question many financial analysts are asking is, will this phenomenal rise in the value of Bitcoin continue?
A look at three major factors driving the unprecedented rise in the price of Bitcoin, and by extension, other major cryptocurrencies, reveals why. Consumer Adoption is Exploding The first key factor ramping up the value of Bitcoins is its growing popularity as a method of payment, particularly among younger consumers. Initially a fringe movement supported by a small fraction of early adopters, the use of cryptocurrencies is following the trajectory of cell phone adoption, online shopping, touchless payment systems and other technological and behavioral evolutions.
These innovations started slowly as well before reaching an inflection point followed by explosive expansion. The acceptance of cryptocurrencies as a viable payment method by financial institutions is another factor driving consumer adoption, as mainstream payments firms, including PayPal , now offer customers the ability to buy and sell Bitcoins—or fractions of Bitcoins—from their accounts.
And an increasing number of tech companies, including Square Inc. Even VISA has jumped into the fray. Coinbase, the largest U. The Law of Supply and Demand Beyond the explosion in consumer adoption, one of the biggest drivers of the rise in the value of Bitcoins is the age-old law of supply and demand. We too call for justice, for an end to police brutality and for the end of systemic dehumanization of Black lives.
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