Crypto

Signs That Show Crypto Mass Adoption Is Underway

Signs That Show Crypto Mass Adoption Is Underway

A series of key developments in economics and popular culture suggests that the year 2021 marked the beginning of widespread cryptocurrency usage.

As the emergence of decentralized finance (Defi) and nonfungible tokens (NFT) forced crypto into the mainstream media limelight regularly, the march toward mass adoption of blockchain and cryptocurrencies made significant steps in 2021.

From the growth of joke coins like Dogecoin (DOGE) and Shiba Inu (SHIB) to the breakout success of the play-to-earn gaming model and popular protocols like Axie Infinity, 2021 has been about demonstrating the cryptocurrency ecosystem’s income-generating potential.

And it’s not only everyday people’s engagement that suggests broad adoption of cryptocurrencies is on the way; many major events in banking and popular culture reveal that blockchain technology is gradually becoming a mainstay in the global society.

Here are some of the most important happenings in 2021 that show that cryptocurrency use will be widespread.

Huge endorsement deals make mainstream media headlines

The surge in major endorsement deals and partnership agreements between cryptocurrency-related companies and other major organizations such as sports teams and professional sports organizations, as well as popular celebrities and influencers, has been one of the most significant signs of mass adoption in 2021.

Crypto.com recently made headlines when it announced a 20-year naming rights agreement with AEG, the top sports, and entertainment corporation, to rename the Staples Center in Los Angeles as Crypto.com Arena.

We’re thrilled to announce that Staples Center, Los Angeles’ most recognizable venue, will be renamed: Staples Center.

Arena https://t.co/vCNztATkNg

We’re also thrilled to welcome the @Lakers and @LAKings as our newest partners as part of our 20-year commitment! pic.twitter.com/KCfYKySDRt

November 17, 2021 — Crypto.com (@cryptocom)

Crypto.com will engage with the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Kings as the “official cryptocurrency platform partner” for the popular sports organizations as part of the $700 million arrangement.

Crypto.com’s renaming follows a similar effort by cryptocurrency exchange FTX earlier this year, when it negotiated a 19-year, $135-million deal with Miami-Dade County to rename the Miami Heat’s home stadium to FTX Arena until 2040.

Apart from these multi-year, multi-million-dollar endorsement deals, there has been a slew of other cryptocurrency-related endorsements, including a sponsorship deal between Coinbase and the NBA, and a partnership between the New York Digital Investment Group and the Houston Rockets, in which the investment firm will pay the team in Bitcoin (BTC).

Major brands embrace the NFT culture

Another evidence of widespread adoption is the embracing of NFT culture by well-known businesses such as McDonald’s and Burger King, which are looking to profit from the fast-increasing crypto subsector’s popularity as a way to engage with their customers.

I’m going to show you the most significant NFT. RT for a chance to win one of ten #McRibNFT exclusives.

50 U.S./DC, 18+ only, no purchase required. To obtain NFT, winners must have a crypto wallet. rules: pic.twitter.com/KYmWI67PhG https://t.co/2QRhsPlpur

November 1, 2021 — McDonald’s (@McDonalds)

Despite China’s broad cryptocurrency crackdown, McDonald’s China released its “Big Mac Rubik’s Cube” line of NFTs on Oct. 8 to commemorate the company’s 31st year in the Chinese market and gave away a set of 188 NFTs to staff and customers.

Burger King launched an NFT-focused marketing campaign called “Keep It Real Meals” in September, in which consumers could scan a QR code included with their meals to obtain one of three collectible game pieces. Players who gather all three game pieces will receive a digital souvenir, a year’s supply of burgers, or a phone call with one of the campaign’s celebrity emcees as a reward.

All of this attention to NFTs by prominent brands and organizations comes at a time when public interest in the technology is exploding, as indicated by data from Google Trends, which indicates that searches for NFT-related phrases have eclipsed searches for terms like “DeFi,” “Ethereum,” and “blockchain.”

Cryptocurrency advertising with well-known personalities such as actor Matt Damon and National Football League quarterback Tom Brady has become increasingly common on television.

Traditional finance finally embraces Bitcoin

The integration of cryptocurrency-related projects into mainstream financial realms is a third indicator that mainstream adoption of cryptocurrencies is underway, with the most recent example being the release of the ProShares Bitcoin Strategy exchange-traded fund (ETF) (BITO), the first Bitcoin-related ETF to be allowed on the US market.

The launch of BITO was quickly followed by the launch of the VanEck Bitcoin Strategy ETF (XBTF), indicating that the US Securities and Exchange Commission is comfortable with approving Bitcoin futures ETFs at this time but is not yet ready to allow spot Bitcoin ETFs, which could take until 2022 or later.

Major payment processing networks such as Visa and Mastercard have secured many arrangements throughout the cryptocurrency industry to enable crypto holders to use their tokens for payment in 2021, signaling a significant integration of blockchain technology with the larger financial sector.

Several influential crypto-focused companies, including the aforementioned Crypto.com, BlockFi, and Coinbase, use the Visa network to power their debit and credit card systems, while Mastercard has partnered with the digital asset platform Bakkt, laying the groundwork for central bank digital currencies to be supported in the future (CBDC).

The fact that several central banks around the world have indicated that they are researching or establishing their own CBDCs is proof of blockchain technology’s inevitable integration and mass acceptance in the global financial ecosystem.

While the crypto market as a whole is likely to continue to experience boom-and-bust cycles as all markets do over time, crypto holders can rest assured that, as the Internet of Things and Web 3.0 unfold, the long-term trajectory of blockchain technology is toward widespread adoption and integration in numerous aspects of our daily lives.

The Author

Oladotun Olayemi

Dotun is a financial enthusiast who specializes in first-in-class financial content, including crypto, blockchain, market, and business, to educate and inform readers.