Mainstreaming crypto: defining a true success case for cryptocurrencies
Our live crypto legends episode, ‘Bringing Crypto to the Mainstream,’ featured a panel of esteemed guests – Mounir Laggoune, CEO of Finary; Nicolas Louvet, CEO of Coinhouse; Bertrand Godin, COO at Fipto, and Wolf-Alexis Puttfarken, Commercial Director France & Benelux at Bitpanda Technology Solutions – who offered a rich tapestry of perspectives on what mainstreaming crypto could look like.
The discussion started with each panelist defining what mainstream crypto means to them. As it turns out, there are several distinct approaches to measure how far down the line crypto is as an industry. And our experts believe these approaches are not mutually exclusive.
Expert takes: how to understand a crypto mainstream future
Nicolas highlighted that crypto’s market penetration varies globally, citing that about 8-11% of people in France own crypto, which jumps to 20% in regions like Latin America and Southeast Asia. He emphasized the need to define what owning crypto means, whether it’s a small investment or a belief in its future potential for payments and investments. Read more about the global crypto adoption index.
Wolf-Alexis proposed a quantitative measure, suggesting that mass adoption could be defined as 200 to 300 million people using blockchain technology daily. Bertrand Godin added a corporate perspective, comparing crypto adoption to traditional currencies in corporate accounts and payments, indicating a significant gap to be bridged.
Mounir, speaking more as an individual than a founder, pointed out that for crypto to become mainstream, it must stop being a solution in search of a problem. “When crypto powers something, and I have no idea it’s there, maybe that’s when it becomes mainstream,” he reflected.
Arguably, NFTs and the early attempts to build a crypto-powered metaverse share some characteristics of a successful real-world crypto application. After all, significant brands from Coca-Cola to Adidas to Chanel have launched their NFT or metaverse projects. Nonetheless, the current market landscape has significantly impacted users’ interest once the bull run of 2020-21 has ended.
Bridging the gap: technology and accessibility
The discussion then shifted the focus to technological solutions that bridge Web 2.0 and Web 3.0. For example, Bitpanda’s technology enables banks and fintechs to integrate crypto seamlessly. Wolf-Alexis elaborated on the critical role of infrastructure in this transition. He detailed how Bitpanda’s solutions, backed by multiple licenses and a solid regulatory footing, provide a reliable backbone for fintech and banks, facilitating the integration of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology into their services.
Bertrand echoed this sentiment, emphasizing the need for improved payment systems, particularly in international currency transactions such as remittances. He sees blockchain and cryptocurrencies as solutions to enhance speed, transparency, and payment cost-effectiveness.
He contrasted current tech solutions with currency dynamics: “I can get a delivery from Amazon probably tomorrow, but when I send some Reals to Brazil, it’s probably going to take a few days and cost me a lot.” Read more: Crypto remittances and challenges.
Despite the limitless potential of cryptocurrencies to solve real-world banking challenges, the user experience is often lagging behind. Companies looking to take crypto mainstream will need to convince everyday users that decentralized ecosystems provide real value. One of the main aspects will be full symbiosis with TradFi – for example, through the widespread use of virtual IBANs.
Regulatory challenges and opportunities
The conversation inevitably gravitated towards regulation, a crucial factor in crypto’s journey to mainstream acceptance. The panelists agreed on the need for regulatory clarity and stability.
Mounir Laggoune pointed out the potential stifling effect of over-regulation on innovation. He argued for pragmatic regulation that evolves with the industry rather than hindering new players and advancements. He drew a specific comparison with bureaucratic discussion over AI. “Typically, when I see things like [for example] the European government wants to ban AI. I think there was the same discussion in crypto where people wanted to ban blockchain. So it’s creating so much noise that… [is] sending the wrong message.”
Bertrand highlighted that clarity is crucial for companies to comply efficiently with evolving regulations. While agreeing with Mounir that regulation shouldn’t come before innovation, Nicolas stressed the importance of regulation in creating a level playing field. The regulation provides “clarity and […] a platform upon which companies or institutional investors that are investing, companies like yours, like mine, can rely on for predictability, for mitigating their risks.”
This need for regulatory clarity is something we firmly believe in at Fiat Republic. As the legal landscape in crypto is constantly evolving – it is important to keep track of all changes. Read more: cryptocurrency regulation across the globe.
Conclusion: towards a crypto-inclusive future
The discussion on bringing crypto to the mainstream provided valuable insights into the multifaceted challenges and opportunities in the crypto space. The diversity of views, from technological infrastructure to regulatory frameworks, underscored the complexity of making crypto a mainstream financial tool.
As the industry evolves, collaboration between innovators, regulators, and users will be paramount in shaping a crypto-inclusive future that is accessible, efficient, and, most importantly, trusted by the masses.
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