When cryptocurrencies first emerged on the scene, led by Bitcoin in 2009, the FinTech industry was just starting to mature.

PayPal was around before that for quite a while, but with a limited country availability, slow withdrawals, and hefty fees. Today, FinTech services such as PayPal, TransferWise, Google Pay, alongside neobanks like Revolut and N26, offer near-instantaneous transfer with very low fees.

In this environment, what is the best deal for the end-user? A new survey from The Tokenist, comparing Bitcoin adoption rates from 2017 to 2020, suggests that cryptocurrencies will not be supplanted by the new FinTech wave. Instead, the trend is to integrate them into the FinTech ecosystem.

Decentralization Has Inherent Value

When it comes down to it, what people want is convenience. Speedy completion of tasks with the minimum effort evolved. In the financial world, PayPal pushed this convenience envelope to the limit, serving hundreds of millions of customers and businesses, ultimately becoming the king of online payments.

However, such a system has a critical flaw that cannot be easily overcome — centralization. PayPal, and many alternatives, are tightly integrated with and therefore highly dependent on the big banks and duopolies such as Mastercard/Visa. If they refuse to offer you their services, for whatever reason, you are effectively cut off from the modern economic system.

In today’s climate of social mobbing and cancel culture, this is particularly troublesome. Across the political spectrum, people’s livelihoods are ruined if they espouse an opinion that some other group doesn’t prefer.

An average person may not be interested in anything more than getting money from point A to point B expeditiously, but as political instability heats up, as trust in government institutions lowers, more people understand the need for a parallel financial system delivered via blockchain-powered cryptocurrencies.

According to The Tokenist survey, this trend is increasing. Over the past three years, the pool of people who trust Bitcoin over banks has widened by 29%.

In particular, male millennials are the most enthusiastic demographic. Female millennials are not far behind, but male millennials are the most confident in Bitcoin’s future, and view Bitcoin as mostly positive.

Across the board, 60% of survey participants viewed Bitcoin favorably, which raises it by 27% compared to three years ago. As expected, people older than 65 are set in their ways, so they show the least amount of enthusiasm, most doubt, and are least likely to buy and use Bitcoin.

Hybrid Integration Boosts Bitcoin Interest

Looking at this survey, it is safe to say that male millennials are leading the charge in Bitcoin becoming increasingly integrated into mainstream trading apps, payment wallets, online retailers, and even employee salaries. Due to popular demand they created, PayPal itself had to concede and give its merchants the option to accept Bitcoin payments in 2018. Following suit, online payroll giants like Freshbooks are looking to integrate bitcoin payments in the near future.

Likewise, Microsoft had to integrate Bitcoin in its Xbox credit store. Online-based retailers like Overstock further fortified Bitcoin’s status as a credible alternative to fiat money. Just last year, New Zealand fully enabled Bitcoin (BTC) as legal tender for employee salaries.

Another source of increased Bitcoin adoption rate comes from the lack of proper competition. Everyone is familiar with Bitcoin. It is the first internet money with its own transfer network, gaining public spotlight via thousands of articles and video segments by the legacy media over a decade. Facebook’s Libra is still floundering, and not many people would trust Facebook due to their numerous privacy concerns and the heavy hand of censorship.

Pandemic Boon

Lastly, the coronavirus situation is a windfall for cryptocurrencies in three major ways:

It exposed more people to alternative payment methods. Most wallets and apps hold cryptocurrencies as an option to be explored just a click away.

Likewise, the usage of free stock-trading apps like Robinhood grew enormously during the lockdown periods, eclipsing traditional online brokers in terms of user base and transaction volume. According to The Tokenist survey, there is a 13% increase in people who would prefer to own Bitcoin over government bonds, stocks, gold, and other traditional assets, which constitutes another growth vector for Bitcoin.

The Federal Reserve exposed their hand by infusing the economy with trillions of dollars out of nowhere. Even the least informed person would take that as a clear sign that Bitcoin has far greater boundaries and sustainability than fiat money. After all, Bitcoin relies on a finite pool of “coins,” which guards it against monetary inflation — not price inflation.