Is Bitcoin Teetering Toward a Tipping Point?

Is Bitcoin Teetering Toward a Tipping Point?  

Made popular by the iconoclastic thought leader and author Malcolm Gladwell, the term “Tipping Point” is defined as a period in time when mass adoption of a previously underrecognized trend rockets forward with unprecedented force.  Of recent, this term that has fueled questions about the trajectory of bitcoin, which is currently at a defining moment in its evolution.

Indicative of the world of disruptive technologies, bitcoin in its infancy has encountered a force field of resistance in terms of acceptance and adoption. Akin to an engaged parking brake on a car, price volatility, user complexities, regulatory backlash, criminal reputation – these are among the many factors,  that have slowed the pace of bitcoin’s global expansion.

I witnessed a similar landscape back in the 90’s as the internet was emerging. Back then paranoia was high as the world wide web attempted to gain its sea legs. Things, in fact, were so tenuous during this early inception that my significant other at the time warned me to steer clear of online web surfing amid fears being perpetuated by the media.

As many early adopters and innovators would attest, the path to mass adoption of any promising endeavor can be tumultuous. This has certainly been true for bitcoin, which media pundits have declared dead on numerous occasions. Fortunately, a rabid tribe of worldwide bitcoin enthusiasts, bolstered by the movements’ long-term promise, have continued to champion its advancement.

Yet questions remain as to what factors will ultimately propel bitcoin value forward as both a currency and transaction to tipping point levels. Some have argued that a more experiential approach is key – one which attracts new bitcoin suitors through a “gamification” like process of engagement. Others have said that interest will build through tools and apps that are more user-friendly. And, of course, consumer and business education cannot be overlooked as a critical element to moving the ball forward.

At the end of the day, a clear articulation and application of bitcoin’s value proposition is ultimately the grand element necessary for  tipping the scale. Says Software Developer Chris Guida  who is also heavily involved with the Colorado Bitcoin Network community: “I don’t think anything is missing. As bitcoin grows in value, people will naturally invest and take an interest. I think it’s a misconception that we need to speed it up somehow.

“My decision to invest in bitcoin went like this: “does it work? No reason it shouldn’t. Will it keep working? Well, it’s been working for several years now, so no reason to expect it to stop. The key here is trust. People trust things they understand, and they trust things that have been around for a while. This is the main driving force for mass adoption.”

Michael Scott is a journalist specializing in emerging digital economy trends and CoinStructive’s resident blogger.