Way back in 2013 - when most people were still unfamiliar with the term "cryptocurrency - it was theorized that despite its flaws, Bitcoin would take over the world. The basic idea was that while there were plenty of questions about the cryptocurrency's value and meaning, how it would evolve, and how the market would sort itself out, all of those questions would be answered in time. And at that point, Bitcoin would emerge as a dominant financial and technological force.
For years, predictions like this looked somewhat silly. While there were still plenty of respectable and knowledgeable people anticipating major gains for Bitcoin, it remained - basically - useless. Bitcoin spending did not catch on the way people had hoped, and its value fluctuated wildly, and seemed somewhat pretend even when it was high. Bitcoin as a lasting phenomenon seemed real enough, but Bitcoin as anything particularly significant or dominant began to look far-fetched.
A few major price spikes and generally expanding interest and understanding has made Bitcoin feel a little bit more serious in recent years though. And in 2020 - all of a sudden - the long-famous cryptocurrency has finally started to appear like it could be a stable, lasting asset, as opposed to some sort of digital gold built for wild speculation. We'd make this case for three main reasons:
1 - Spending is Getting Easier
It's taken a while, but opportunities to spend Bitcoin are becoming more common. Partly, this is because there are more companies and industries directly accepting cryptocurrency. You can book flights, buy coffee, and even go to the spa, in some cases, and pay with Bitcoin. However, easier spending is also a result of the growing prevalence of Bitcoin debit cards. These convenient cards basically allow users to spend Bitcoin wherever they like, and then automatically translate that Bitcoin into ordinary currency during the purchase.
2 - The Price is More Stable
As we alluded to above, Bitcoin is historically known for being fairly wild in its movements. $1,000 changes occur in the blink of an eye, which has always made the cryptocurrency exciting - but have also made it seem less concrete or serious. In recent months however, Bitcoin's price stability has been somewhat astounding. The price is relatively high compared to usual, but it has stayed at or above roughly $9,200 throughout the summer. This represents one of the strongest and most stable times in the cryptocurrency's history.
3 - The COVID Response Was Strong
Most bizarrely of all, Bitcoin's response to COVID was the stuff of dreams for those who have long held that cryptocurrency would be resilient to crisis. Bitcoin was not entirely untouched by the crash, but it did in fact prove more resilient than many other assets it's often compared to. This resiliency helped to launch the aforementioned period of stability, and serves as a strong argument that cryptocurrency should be taken more seriously.
Now, these points of strength do not a takeover make. However, if there ever is such a takeover, it won't have happened in a single day, month, or even year. So the question, really, is whether Bitcoin's rise to a stronger and more permanent place in society has begun. And looking at how well it's done in 2020, that's a more interesting question than ever before.