Payments Providers are Leading the Bitcoin Charge
The likes of Square, PayPal, Circle, and Skrill have been the silent drivers of the Bitcoin adoption movement. As seen in a report by Forbes, August 12, 2019, Coinbase was only able to launch its flagship crypto debit card in the U.K. because of its existing partnership with Skrill. Meanwhile, new-age payments companies in the crypto realm such as BitPay and Wirex are also playing a significant part.
Building Utility Around the Ecosystem
Square has been a torchbearer for the Bitcoin adoption movement; almost literally as Jack Dorsey, founder of Square, participated in the lightning torch experiment. The company recently announced their Q2 results and revealed that their Bitcoin business has seen growth a few orders of magnitude more than its regular business.
Square has been consistent that they want to build services around Bitcoin, and only Bitcoin – no other network. Jack Dorsey believes Bitcoin is money that actually works and has led Square’s effort to focus on the cryptocurrency ecosystem.
The simplest way to drive adoption is to let people spend their crypto, and this is exactly what Coinbase and Wirex are doing. Coinbase released its crypto debit card in the U.S. and subsequently launched it in the U.K. with the help of PaySafe. Needless to say, this has greatly benefited users in the space.
While PayPal has not played a direct role, they are leading investment rounds in several blockchain startups. They are also reportedly associated with the Libra Association and will be fundamental to Facebook’s cross border efforts.
Once Shunned, Now Shining
Cryptocurrencies were written off by banks – their biggest competitors – ever since emerging in the limelight.
In more recent times, we have come to observe banks accepting the technological superiority of cryptocurrencies and joining the party. Jamie Dimon is the first person that comes to mind. First he calls Bitcoin a fraud, then he apologizes, after which he accepts defeat and releases a cryptocurrency, and finally gets sued for market abuse.
Payments companies have seen a similar trajectory with PayPal killing support for Bitcoin citing a volatile fee structure. However, if these companies could see their mistakes and look at cryptocurrency with a fresh perspective, it won’t take much for the general public to see crypto this way.
Evidently, the most effective way to drive adoption and awareness is to build utility around the technology stack.