Edward W. Mandel
Mar 4, 2019

I’m glad 2018 happened.

Don’t get me wrong. I took as much of a bath short-term as anyone who holds cryptocurrency. But you can’t even call it a paper loss because the whole attraction is the lack of paper. Call it a pixel loss.

But we purged all the fear out of the system. It was at the price of giving back all of 2017 but, in the long run, it was worth it. Everyone who was afraid of missing out either chucked out their entire portfolios or let them lay fallow. There is no more fear of missing out. There’s just the fact of missing out.

At BQT, we read Bitcoin Market Journal and so are keenly aware of that there are only 22 million bitcoin wallets globally. As author Alex Lielacher points out, that means there are far fewer than that many actual users, as most crypto enthusiasts have multiple accounts and many wallets are dormant with zero balances. Cambridge University finds that the number of active users — that is, people who regularly trade cryptocurrencies or exchange them for fiat — is somewhere south of 5.8 million, and maybe only half that.

At the risk of being crude we are, at this moment, in a circle jerk. The real, wild orgy of cryptocurrency flow won’t happen until a couple zeroes are added to those estimates. That’s when BTC will hit $20,000 — and be worth it intrinsically rather than just for the speculative value.

Not sure if the early-’80s hardcore punk band’s members are hodlers, but “Question Authority” could serve as crypto’s anthem

So how do we leapfrog past PayPal and other digital payment channels? How do we move past Visa, Mastercard and American Express? Ultimately, how do we make crypto preferable to legal [sic] tender itself?

Long road to adoption

I wouldn’t be wasting your time in this space if the answer didn’t involve exchanges and, in particular, such exchanges as BQT.

Our business model, according to a confluence of thought that has risen to top of the hive mind in recent weeks, will likely play a leading role in crypto adoption over the long run.

The case is made most strongly — to be sure, it’s a little over-the-top — by an unsigned article that recently appeared on Bitcoin Exchange Guide.

“The fact that [dexes] allow users to have full control over their funds and allowing them to use the funds in a peer to peer manner by leveraging non-custodial wallets, [they] will be integral to the growth of the crypto market,” the article’s author gushes. “Moreover, with big names like Binance, the biggest crypto exchange planning its own DEX, decentralized exchanges just can’t be ignored.”

Although Bitcoin Exchange Guide leaves it to others to actually prove the point, we at BQT couldn’t agree more.

At the core of the argument is that cryptocurrencies are likely to be adopted only as far as there is an immediate use for them. Those uses will be generated by decentralized applications which require tokens to access. The leading dApps at the moment are dexes, and the use for them stems from the liquidity and privacy they afford their participants.

So anything we can do to enhance liquidity and privacy is good not only for BQT, not only for dexes in general, but for the crypto space as a whole. And speaking for myself, I could’ve found an easier way of making a living so I’m only involved in crypto because I truly believe it has the capability to transform society in positive ways we can only begin to dream of today.

But capability is not actuality. So we have to consider how we can accomplish our end of the adoption challenge.

I’m heartened that OpenLedger Dex, a BQT competitor, sees things the same way we do.

“Volatility in the market is a barrier to entry that must be addressed through regulation and stabilization,” Darya Karatkevich writes on the OpenLedger Dex blog.

We don’t expect everyone who ever voted for Ron Paul or offered some two-bit opinion on Austrian economics from the bottom of a beer mug to agree with that, but responsible libertarians believe as strongly as anyone else that markets benefit from a degree of certainty and propriety. Put the BQT team in that camp. Apparently, you can put the OpenLedger Dex team there as well.

We’re all still libertarian enough to believe that government oversight without government comprehension of what it’s overseeing isn’t necessarily the path forward.

Self-regulation is necessary so that government entities, many of which lack a real understanding of cryptocurrency and are likely to protect existing financial institutions’ interests, don’t get the final say in how this new industry is regulated,” Karatkevich continues. “Crypto business leaders must organize and become a part of the regulation process for the industry to succeed.”

Necessary, but not sufficient

Of course, dexes aren’t the only dApps out there.

But we might as well be for now.

Aside from the social, blogging and gaming dApps on the Steem platform and the financial ones on Ethereum, there’s really not a lot out there. I offer a cheer here for a few exceptions:

  • Basic Attention Token, which manages digital ads,
  • Actifit, a fitness loyalty program,
  • Storj, a cloud storage array and
  • Golem, a dev ops platform.

There are several others of course, as listed on State of the dApps, but not nearly enough. Until such time as “dApp” becomes “app” as “cell phone” became “phone,” crypto adoption will continue at a snail’s pace. It’s going to take years for the development community to move toward tokenization as the default method to control access and reward behavior. Once that happens, though, there’ll be plenty of breathing rooms for the dexes that pioneered crypto adoption.

You’re welcome.

But for now...

Before we can get to that bright future, though, there are things that have to happen in the here and now.

As Karatkevich points out, these involve expanding the number and types of places where crypto is accepted as payment as well as education of the public at large.

The BQT team will do what it can to promote these immediate goals, but nothing we can do — nothing dexes as a whole can do — will make that happen. It takes all of us in the crypto space working together and separately to evangelize for our shared vision of days to come.

The Bitcoin Market Journal article indicates that there are fewer than 6 million active users, but Lielacher goes on to estimate that there were 22 million users, active or passive, worldwide. He also points to the rapid adoption of crypto in the unstable economies of South America and Africa. In a world of 7 billion-plus people, though, can we make a difference?

Of course we can. In terms of population, we’re about the size of Taiwan, which very much makes a difference in the economic life of Planet Earth.

And not everyone participates equally in that economic life. Credit Suisse calculates that there’s a mean of $63,100 in wealth for every adult in the world, but the median is worth only $4,210. I’ll go out on a limb and say that crypto holders skew far above the median. There are only about 1,200 billionaires in the world, and they have more than a little to say about where money flows, how money works and even what money is. Our clan of 22 million probably includes almost all of them.

When we reach the point where the wealthiest people on earth do longer want to channel their wealth through central banks, they’ll start investing to lay the groundwork for wide crypto adoption.

BQT will be there for them. Meantime, we’re here for you.

Edward is an Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Finalist, Blockchain Enthusiast and visionary behind many successful organizations. An avid entrepreneur, Edward has a knack for designing distinctive business models complemented with superior technology to deliver unparalleled service and profitability. Edward also has been advising and consulting for various successful Blockchain technology and ICO projects and recently launched his own BQT.IO P2P exchange helping traders connect with each other to leverage their crypto assets.

BQT.IO has been in development since March 2017 and its ICO launched September 18. The information can be found online at BQT.IO, on Telegram @BQTCommunity and on Twitter as @bqt_ico.