Venezuela is the leading market for crypto adoption in the world today. There are now over a thousand locations accepting cryptocurrency payments, hundreds of thousands of wallets downloaded by Venezuelans, dozens of teams working on education and adoption activities, and a network of crypto companies and organizations focused on the Venezuela market.
During last December, the largest pharmacy chain in Venezuela shared their ongoing process to add crypto payments to their options, and Burger King started accepting crypto payments. This progress is indicative of how cryptocurrency payments are progressing toward the mainstream in Venezuela.
While a thousand merchants represent less than 1% of total stores in the country, this is a level of adoption and usage not seen anywhere else. That is why Venezuela is so relevant for evaluating the global state of cryptocurrency usage and what will come next for the space.
During the time I have been involved and studying cryptocurrency use and adoption, I have identified four stages that progressively expand the use cases for crypto. These stages are correlated to the health of the local currency, where troubled economies create stronger incentives for ordinary people to search for alternative finance options to protect their assets and solve payment problems. This creates an entry point for cryptocurrency.
Below is the four-stage progression in the use and adoption of cryptocurrencies:A broken economy creates incentives for users to try crypto as a way to avoid Fear of Losing Savings (FOLSA), after understanding the benefits, the use as peer-to-peer electronic cash to make daily payments can follow. Trading and speculation: Especially in developed markets, people first view cryptocurrencies as a speculative investment. Seen in all financial markets, “stable” or not, investors take a chance to increase wealth by “hodling” cryptocurrencies and speculating on them. Bitcoin as a capital contro...