Bitcoin Adoption Crippled by Public’s ‘Serious Mental Barrier’

Journalist:
Samantha Chang @Samantha_Chang
March 28, 2019

By CCN.com: Bitcoin won’t go mainstream anytime soon because there’s a societal mental block that’s hindering mass adoption. That’s the opinion of Jack Mallers, creator of the Zap Lightning Network wallet.

Mallers made the remarks at a recent forum hosted by the MIT Bitcoin Club (video below).

Mallers: Bitcoin Skeptics Think It’s Too Risky

Mallers believes the reluctance to embrace bitcoin is tied to the negative public perception of crypto more so than technical obstacles.

“There’s a serious mental barrier that needs to be broken down as far as people’s relationship with bitcoin and the asset itself,” Mallers said, as first reported by Forbes. “They don’t look at it as very useful. They look at it as highly speculative.”

However, Mallers says regulatory clarity from the SEC and the approval of a bitcoin ETF could make people feel less anxious.

Time and Public Awareness Are the Solutions

Justin Moon of Buidl Bootcamp says time is an important incubator before crypto can achieve mainstream acceptance.

“Most people take it seriously, like, the third time they hear it didn’t die or something.

“Most people don’t take it seriously the first time — nor should they because there are so many different things to evaluate in your daily life. You don’t have the capacity.”

Pierre Rochard, the founder of Lightning Power Users, agrees. Rochard says digital technology is advancing at such a rapid rate that it’s hard even for crypto enthusiasts to keep up with all the new developments.

“To me, the most important variable in that is just time. The longer bitcoin is around — coming out every 10 minutes with a new block and just working — reinforces the psychological aspect of, ‘This thing is going to be around tomorrow and it’s okay for me to hold it and use it today.'”

Accordingly, Rochard believes educating the public and increasing awareness of bitcoin is critical to mass adoption.

“People just didn’t understand it. They didn’t understand why it’s valuable. They didn’t understand how to use it. I think we just need a lot more [education].”

BlackRock CEO: Bitcoin Is Not Legitimate

Meanwhile, top financial executives like BlackRock CEO Larry Fink says it’ll be a long time before mainstream adoption occurs. Why? Because he says bitcoin is not “legitimate” right now since the industry is unregulated. And that scares investors.

BlackRock — the world’s largest asset manager — has $6.4 trillion in assets under management.

Fink is a vocal bitcoin skeptic who says the lack of regulatory oversight makes consumers leery of investing in the nascent asset class.

“It will ultimately have to be backed by a government. I don’t sense that any government will allow that unless they have a sense of where that money’s going.”

Last modified (UTC): March 28, 2019 14:50

Samantha Chang @Samantha_Chang

Samantha Chang is a New York City-based financial editor who writes about crypto and business at . She is a law school grad and an alum of the University of Pennsylvania. You can reach her on Twitter at Samantha Chang or email her at schang121@juno.com.