Bitcoin, Mobile Payments Share Some Consumer Adoption Problems
Wednesday, May 6, 2015
This all sounded very familiar.
Last week, Networld Media Group hosted its first Virtual Currency Today Summit in Boston. Bitcoin enthusiasts filled a room at the Back Bay Hilton with a lot of gusto for the virtual currency’s future, specifically the potential for the blockchain technology.
But some of the assembled speakers worried that different industry players were not doing enough to foster consumer adoption.
“We need to help solve for the user-adoption problem,” Steve Beauregard, CEO of virtual currency processor GoCoin, said during his keynote presentation. “It’s difficult [for consumers] to get coins, [figure out] which wallet to use [and there’s] still friction around the actual transaction itself.”
Beauregard described consumer-adoption obstacles that are not unique to bitcoin. Some of the challenges he discussed could easily be applied to mobile payments, which is why the Virtual Currency Today Summit gave me a sense of déjà vu.
“In the the overall [bitcoin] ecosystem, there is a lot jockeying around, but there are silos of innovation,” Beauregard said. “But that’s not necessarily good for the consumer. There’s so much noise, they are not sure where to go.”
Again, doesn’t that sound similar to what we discuss when it comes to mobile payments?
I don’t believe it’s necessary for me to rehash some of the consumer issues with mobile payments. But as the summit progressed throughout the day, some of the speakers made indirect comparisons to mobile payments for us.