Nele-Maria Palipea, the founder of 8-bit.io, a marketing and research service for cryptocurrencies, recently argued “it’s unlikely” that blockchain technology will “replace current technology” within the next 5 years. Palipea compared the rate of adoption of the internet and email over the last 40+ years to the expected rate of adoption of blockchain-based services.
History Of Internet, Email Adoption
She noted that email was first introduced in 1971, however, the first “major commercial” Internet Service Providers (ISPs) only started to appear during the early or mid-1990s. It was around 1996/97 that widely-used email services became available (such as Hotmail) and it was also during this time that only 10% of Americans were using the internet, according to Palipea’s research.
Palipea, who actively contributes to Medium, Quora, and the blockchain-based social blogging network, Steemit, explained that after over 25 years since email appeared, its adoption had reached a point (in the late 1990s) where “either you were an email user or knew someone that knew someone who used email.”
She then pointed out that email still did not have “a huge reach” at that time, but “a small degree of separation meant email had become more than just an obscurity.” By 2001, approximately 50%, or 1 in 2, Americans were using the internet regularly and now about 50% of the world’s population has internet access as there are around 3.8 billion people using email services.
Only 50 Million Cryptocurrency Users
The first application and introduction of blockchain technology happened almost 10 years ago when the Bitcoin whitepaper was released. Currently, there are about 50 million “cryptocurrency users” according to Palipea’s calculations.
50 million people is less than 1% of the world’s current population, therefore, “we are still very behind on mass [blockchain] adoption”, the crypto researcher argues. She recommends:
[Blockchain and cryptocurrencies] are a huge buzz and opportunity … And [people] can take advantage of this [by] positioning [themselves] in the market to be invested in the next Microsoft and Google of blockchain.
As CryptoGlobe reported, Dan Larimer, the chief technical officer of the EOS cryptocurrency project, said that blockchain adoption would begin to increase significantly when it begins to effectively solve real-world problems. Larimer explained that currently people have to change their passwords frequently and have to remember (or keep track of) really complex passwords to prevent them from being hacked.
If/when blockchain can help solve this problem or other issues, then it could begin to head towards mainstream adoption, Larimer said.