It’s no secret that 2018 has been a tough year for the crypto markets, with Bitcoin dropping from highs of nearly $20,000 in late-2017 to recently established lows of $3,200. The market’s poor performance has led investors, analysts, and traders alike to ponder what impetus will be able to drive the markets back to their all-time-high prices and beyond.
Last month, Sonny Singh, the chief operating officer (COO) of Bitcoin payment processing giant, BitPay, explained that he believes increasing institutional adoption and crypto products from companies like Bakkt, Fidelity, and Square, will help drive the next bullish cycle in the cryptocurrency markets.
Although this sentiment is shared amongst many individuals in the cryptocurrency industry, the chief executive officer (CEO) of BitPay, Stephen Pair, recently warned investors against placing too much stock into institutional adoption and added that widespread crypto adoption likely won’t occur for another three to five years.
Widespread Crypto Adoption Could be Right Around the Corner
Pair made his comments regarding the future of the cryptocurrency industry in a recent interview with CNBC and discussed everything ranging from the increase in institutional products to the factors currently driving the market’s performance.
While speaking about the advent of institutional-aimed cryptocurrency investment products, like the ones discussed last month by BitPay’s COO, Pair explained that there are a lot of other positive events occurring in the cryptocurrency industry, adding that investors shouldn’t view things like the approval or denial of the Bitcoin ETF as the be-all and end-all for the crypto industry.
Although the persisting rout in the cryptocurrency markets may have left many investors with a bad taste in their mouths, Pair believes that widespread crypto adoption could occur sooner than expected, regardless of whether or not the SEC approves a Bitcoin ETF.
“I used to say 10 years, but now I think it’s more like 3-5 years until you can go into a restaurant, a retail establishment, and just everybody’s going to expect that that store will be able to accept a blockchain payment,” Pair explained.
Markets Driven Mainly by Speculation
The current price action in the markets may lead the public to write off the technology underlying Bitcoin and many cryptocurrencies as useless, but Pair contends that the increase in actual adoption over the next several years, and the increase in the utility of cryptocurrency that results from increased innovation, will ultimately outweigh speculation.
“A very big component of the price is certainly speculation. It’s investors speculating on the future usage and adoption of this technology. A small component of the price is actual utility, and that’s what BitPay is focused on — using the platform and delivering products to our customers that they find valuable,” he said.