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Disruptive technologies achieve mainstream adoption when they become reasonably interactive with existing conventions.
Despite its challenges over the years, through the various financial crises, revolutions, and even through wars, the US Dollar has survived simply because of its deep interaction with every aspect of the global economy.
The US Dollar remains the most widely accepted currency all over the world. For instance, an individual traveling from Nigeria to China will not be able to spend the Nigerian Naira in China.
The traveler will need to exchange his Nigerian Naira to the Chinese Yuan. Locally in Nigeria, neither the central bank nor the exchanges may be able to provide the individual with Chinese Yuan in exchange for his Nigerian Naira. In the same vein, perhaps the individual travels to China with the Nigerian Naira, he will not be able to exchange it for the Chinese Yuan. Therefore, the traveler first exchanges his Nigerian Naira for an equivalent amount of US Dollars then travels to China with the US Dollars which he can then exchange for an equivalent amount of the Chinese Yuan.
The above example illustrates the reason why the US Dollar is referred to as the universal base currency. It serves as an intermediate or a link between almost all the major currencies of the world. This simple exercise guarantees the constant demand for the US Dollar in the currency market, therefore establishing it as a strong entity as long as fiat currencies are concerned.
What the US Dollar ultimately achieves in the process is extensive interaction with the overall economic convention of the world.
As Bitcoin growth continues, as a currency and medium of exchange, its strength and level of adoption can be measured by the level of interaction with conventional systems. Therefore, the growth of the remittance industry, merchant adoption, payment systems among other aspects are very fundamental towards the growth of Bitcoin.
Bitcoin, cryptocurrencies and their underlying technology, Blockchain are gaining entry into existing transaction processes. Several instances abound where governments, banks and conventional institutions have moved towards establishing systems that interact with the disruptive technology.
Just recently, The US government announced its plans to hold a US Federal Blockchain Forum on July 18, 2017. This development is in line with creating a six-month plan on how to bring government agencies to collaborate in the creation of more Blockchain technology-related initiatives.
Another typical example of the Bitcoin/Blockchain interaction with conventional processes is evident in the activities of Bitcoin payment gateway, Bitwage which claims to have extended the Bitcoin wage payment system to the United Kingdom.
In a press release, Jonathan Chester, Bitwage President, announced that his company would offer workers anywhere in the world the ability to receive wages from companies in the UK through local banking partners.
“This now means that workers in the UK will be able to have more diversity in how they would like to receive their wages. They can split their wages at any percentage between many different bank accounts and digital wallets. While for international workers with UK clients, they can receive their wages faster and cheaper with the same ease of collecting funds into a local bank account.”
Chester also says that Bitwage can receive wages in USD, Euro, GBP, CAD, AUD, CHF & JPY and can pay out into Bitcoin, Ether, Litecoin, USD, Euro, GBP, BRL, PHP, INR, MXN, ARS, VND, NGN, & UAH.
The year 2017 has revealed how adoption and increase in market size affect the stability of Bitcoin and other altcoins by extension. This is explained by the various big events such as the Chinese clampdown on exchanges, and the Winklevoss ETF denial which were expected to hurt Bitcoin significantly. However, only temporary pullbacks were experienced, from which the cryptocurrency repeatedly recovered completely.
With a current market capitalization of over $42 bln, compared to about $15 bln in January 2017, it is evident that the stability of the cryptocurrency is directly related to its level of interaction with existing financial systems.
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