This is what the boss of the Ethereum blockchain, Vitalik Buterin, believes, referring to international transfers, donations or payments within countries.
As The Merge event for the Ethereum blockchain looms, its boss Vitalik Buterin continues to be a spokesman for the cryptocurrency ecosystem. After supporting the interest of the cryptocurrency “mixing” service Tornado Cash, which is experiencing an unprecedented upheaval, the latter considers that cryptocurrencies are used much more than we think… as a means of payment.
“People continue to underestimate how often crypto-currency payments are superior, not even because of censorship resistance, but simply because they are so much more convenient,” he said on Twitter Wednesday.
“People continue to underestimate how often crypto-currency payments are superior, not even because of censorship resistance, but simply because they’re so much more convenient,” he said on Twitter Wednesday.
In particular, he referred to international transfers, “donations” and “sometimes even” to make payments within countries. It is true that many donations in cryptocurrencies have been made to Ukraine to help it cope with the war between it and Russia. According to data collected by the reference platform Elliptic, the country has thus received 63 million donations in cryptocurrencies, mainly from personalities of the ecosystem (Vitalik Buterin, but also “CZ” the boss of the platform Binance). Abroad, only El Salvador, which accepted bitcoin as a legal tender in September 2021 allows its citizens to be able to make purchases in bitcoin.
But beyond this country and probably soon the Central African Republic, which is ready to accept bitcoin as a legal tender, countries remain cautious on this subject. In France, for example, a few months ago, the Beaugrenelle center became the first shopping mall to accept cryptocurrency payments, thanks to a partnership with fintech Lizy. The experiment, which took place this summer, is expected to be repeated in the fall. But according to an article in Les Echos newspaper, the experiment has not really borne fruit.
Still some obstacles
Indeed, despite the words of Vitalik Buterin, it is a fact: cryptocurrencies are still struggling to emerge as a real means of payment. While there are a little over 200 wallets in the world that hold crypto-currencies, there are still some obstacles to their use: price volatility (we saw it well with the last two crypto- crashes), vagueness about the regulation of this sector or because of still high transaction fees on the blockchain.
Moreover, transactions on the Bitcoin or Ethereum blockchains remain much lower than those on traditional payment systems, such as Visa or Mastercard. As reported by Cointelegraph, the Bitcoin blockchain processed about 5 transactions per second on Wednesday with an average fee of $0.89 while Ethereum processed about 29 transactions per second with a fee of about $1.57. For its part, Visa claims to process 24,000 transactions per second, charging between 1.4 and 2.5 percent per transaction.
For all that, the crypto-currency ecosystem is developing to support the growing adoption of these assets. Initiatives are regularly emerging to enable their use as a means of payment. The latest announcement is the partnership between the American payment giant Mastercard and Binance, who want to allow users to pay in more than 90 million stores holding the Mastercard. A first experiment has just been launched in Argentina and should be extended to other countries if it is successful.