As for the bad news, firstly, we’ve had the issue of bitcoin being stagnant for quite some time now, which puts into question whether or not the nascent asset-type is really worth investing or not.
We’ve also had the anti-crypto New York University professor and economist Nouriel Roubini making a lot of noise in giving flak to cryptocurrencies, its developers as well as its supporters, and even testifying against it in a Senate hearing on cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology.
Coinfloor has also made news as the oldest bitcoin exchange in U.K. is laying off some of its employees due to a significant change in the market volume brought by a prolonged bear market.
However, alongside those negative news, the public attention in the crypto space has been drawn to ‘Stablecoins,’ crypto coins whose values are pegged in a 1:1 ratio to fiat currencies such as the US dollar (USD), have shed hope in solving the “hyper-volatility” dilemma of cryptocurrencies.
Cryptocurrencies have also caught the eyes of institutional investors ever since the news broke when David Swensen, Yale University’s endowment fund manager, have invested in cryptocurrency hedge funds, an action which was then followed by 5 more university endowments including Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, improving the sentiments of doubtful institutional investors towards investing in crypto.
One of the best news this week, in my personal opinion, is when the crypto startup PundiX has mentioned in their Medium post that they have made the ‘world’s first blockchain phone call’ during the XBlockchain Summit at the Inaya Putri Bali, not because they have developed a blockchain phone (since HTC and Sirin are competing on a project of similar concept), but because they claim to have been developing a full-fledged decentralized ecosystem complete with conceptualized technologies, both in software and hardware.
Creating a Climate for Merchant Adoption
On July of 2018, PundiX has launched their poin-of-sale (PoS) machines which allow local businesses to instantly process small cryptocurrency transactions.
Zac Cheah, the CEO at PundiX, has mentioned that they aim to equip stores with 100,000 PoS machines in the next 3 years. As of now, businesses have been requesting over 25,000 PoS machines from PundiX.
This is actually a great move from PundiX in their campaign for the mass adoption of cryptocurrencies as they continue to develop new technologies both in software and hardware to make cryptocurrency relevant in an every-man’s daily life is such a way that fiat does.
One of the main issues that keeps the nascent asset type in a shady reputation in the mainstream market is the issues regarding its scalability, volatility and lack of supporting technologies. Just as what PundiX proposes, merchant adoption is one of the major ways to gain public trust, and the only way of achieving such is by developing devices that support crypto, while at the same time solving the other issues that hinder adoption.
So far, traditional business giants such as Starbucks are still skeptical about the usage of cryptocurrencies in terms of legitimacy, but with the emergence of ‘stablecoins’ such as Tether, which is pegged to US dollar, the entrance of institutional investors in crypto such as major university endowments, and countries that are openly willing for digital currency adoption such as South Korea, the vision of mass adoption of cryptocurrencies seems very attainable in the near future.