Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin or Ethereum will not be accepted as a payment method in Germany in by 2020, according to a survey by the Center for European Economic Research (ZEW), Cointelegraph auf Deutsch reported June 14.
As part of ZEW’s monthly financial market report, the research institute polled up to 300 experts from banks, insurance companies, and finance departments of selected large companies. ZEW polled experts on their assessment of whether cryptocurrencies would soon be adopted for everyday payment purposes.
Respondents were skeptical about “the likelihood of being able to pay for a to-go cup of coffee” with crypto in Germany. Only 13 percent could imagine a general cryptocurrency payment option in 2020 for such products. 23 percent of respondents said they could imagine such a possibility in the US and Japan. The report continues:
"According to the results of the survey, the likelihood that it will be possible to pay for digital products such as music with cryptocurrency in Germany by the end of 2020 currently stands at 23 percent. In comparison, the prognosis for other industrialised countries such as Japan (34 percent) and the US (35 percent) were somewhat more optimistic”.
Only six percent of respondents thought that by 2020, crypto would be a viable payment instrument for buying a car in Germany. In Japan and the US, 13 and 15 percent respectively found this to be a possibility. ZEW scientist Dr. Dominik Rehse explained the results:
“One explanation for our findings could be the expectation that conventional payment methods already largely satisfy the requirements of market participants, while cryptocurrencies – even by the end of 2020 – are seen as still being too technically complex for everyday use or involving excessively high transaction costs”.
While cryptocurrencies have experienced a veritable boom in speculative and asset values over the last year, their use as a payment method seems to remain a marginal phenomenon for the time being. The CEO of the payment service provider Western Union spoke to this trend, saying in a speech at the Economic Club of New York that customers still prefer fiat over digital currencies because of better usability. As a result, Western Union will not be offering a crypto transfer option to their global money transfer service in the foreseeable future.