How Long Does It Take To Adopt Cryptocurrency?

April 23, 2018

Experts of various segments still cannot reach common ground on how long will it take for cryptocurrencies to replace or at least become equal to the conventional fiat money. Despite blockchain’s unique character, there are numerous examples of adopting innovational technologies: from industrial revolution to Internet. All of them followed similar developmental pattern.

Classical model of change if a sigmoid function or S-curve which was named due to it form. The most widely-spread example of S-curve is a logistic growth. Many processes of growth including that of population, distribution of innovations, human and machine learning, evolution of language and chemical reactions show exponential growth of various speed first, then they reach a bend-point, they ripen, face competition or lack of resources while growth rate slows down. Then they enter the stage of saturation with growth getting even slower or ceasing even. The four stages of such growth (birth/initiation, growth/acceleration, slow-up/maturation and saturation) can be seen on the logistic growth curve below. Points of growth, bend and saturation are the points on the curve that change the conditions of growth.

Exponential growth continues usually until there are resources available. While communication area of population expands to spread wider across the environment (i.e. life zone, market, accessible idea, knowledge or range of variants), its replication starts to slow down and finally saturates itself having reached a carrying capacity of the specific environment, which is a point on the X-axis at of higher the level of saturation.

The story of implementing mass market technologies is filled up with such S-curves. Note that the curves of initial acceptance for highly valued technologies like vehicles and radio in 1910s and 1920s were just as sharp as those for mobile phones and Internet in 1990s. a number of factors like technology cost, usability and marketing are crucial for these S-curves to reach the point of saturation.

Still the general perspective also shows that innovations get adopted faster. Latest innovations like computers, mobile phones and Internet have got steep exponential stages. Accepting dematerialized products and services like new software platforms or applications happens far quicker. Given necessary items like phones or stoves have been adopted for dozens of years, it is no surprise that the technology of about ten years old is still alien to the majority of common men.

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