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Why Is Cryptocurrency Gaining Popularity in New Zealand?

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Bitcoin (BTC) is illustrated as physical gold coins with the national flag of New Zealand

Although Bitcoin is that one coin that most people know, there are actually thousands of cryptocurrencies in the market. Every few months or so, we see a new coin or token being listed on exchanges. 

While the price of Bitcoin was on a steady rise since November 2020, we also witnessed a significant surge in the prices of altcoins like Cardano, Chainlink, Vechain, Ripple, and even Dogecoin. 

Making life easier with cryptocurrencies

Most of the cryptocurrencies created have something to offer our modern world. Cryptocurrencies are created to provide new ways of migrating aspects of our everyday life over to the virtual world. 

An international payment needs to be made. You can log onto your cryptocurrency wallet and this transaction is done instantaneously.  Need to buy something online? A few clicks and you can process it using your crypto debit card. Even UNICEF now welcomes donations made in Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin. 

We now see a lessening dependence on cash as a society, and there are more and more establishments that are open to accepting cryptocurrencies payment in New Zealand due to cryptocurrencies’ low fees, speed and security. 

With the world becoming more and more interconnected every day, some even question how much longer before societies go cashless? 

Person paying cashless using a mobile phone.
Mobile wallets are the new debit cards. Cryptocurrencies are the new money. Source: Photo by Jonas Leupe on Unsplash

In New Zealand, our reliance on cash transactions have rapidly declined over the recent years. With the recent pandemic and chatter around possible negative interest rates, the idea of a cashless economy that transacts using cryptocurrencies does not seem far fetched at all. 

More merchants are now embracing the benefits that cryptocurrencies bring. In some sense, it would not be surprising to see cryptocurrencies replacing cash in the near future.

Read more about: Real-world uses of Cryptocurrency

Why is Bitcoin so popular in New Zealand?

There are a number of reasons why cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin are so popular. Without a doubt, their infamous price actions have contributed to their popularity. 

A little over a decade ago, there was no concept of cryptocurrency. Yet, Bitcoin went from trading at USD $0.01 to its 2021 all-time high of about USD $63,000 within less than a decade. 

Since then, we have also witnessed Ethereum’s promising price performance. And more recently, the pump in the prices of DeFi tokens. Perhaps, all eyes are on the potential of what cryptocurrencies bring, and it is this anticipation that drives these cryptocurrencies to trade at new highs. 

Despite the popularity with the cryptocurrencies market as a whole, Bitcoin is only coin almost synonymous with the term cryptocurrency. For those of you who are new to the cryptocurrencies market, or are looking to make your first crypto asset investment, it is not surprising that your first purchase was Bitcoin. 

Bitcoin, the poster coin, has caught many of our attention and drew us into the crypto space. Despite the numbers of cryptocurrencies growing exponentially, Bitcoin continues to be the yardstick by which other cryptocurrencies are measured. But why then, is Bitcoin still number one? 

Easy Crypto Rates: Check out Bitcoin’s price right now

Bitcoin rises
Bitcoin becoming popular in the new decade is a modern real-life legend. Source: Geralt on Pixabay

Three reasons for Bitcoin’s dominance:

1. Bitcoin had a a major head start 

One of the main advantages Bitcoin has over other cryptocurrencies is the fact that it was unprecedented when it was first created. It took about two years between the first Bitcoin being mined in 2009, before the emergence of other cryptocurrencies. 

By that time, Bitcoin has already been used by early adopters for payment and money transfer with a ‘real-world’ value of USD $13. 

When the other cryptocurrencies were launched, namely Litecoin, there were already more than 8 million Bitcoins in circulation, allowing it to hold a market cap of more than $100 million at the time. Naturally, Bitcoin accounted for the majority of the cryptocurrencies market. 

However, even as more cryptocurrencies were introduced (such as Ethereum), no other cryptocurrency has been able to reach a market cap near that of Bitcoin’s.

2. Mainstream acceptance of Bitcoin 

As Bitcoin popularity continues, an increasing number of mainstream investors began considering it as an legitimate investment alternative. Investors from all walks of life were interested in Bitcoin’s promising growth. 

While hedge funds managers were attracted to Bitcoin because of its limited supply, traders were drawn to Bitcoin’s volatility as it offers speculative returns. 

I wonder how Satoshi Nakamoto (Bitcoin’s mysterious creator(s)) would react if he/she/they learnt that this creation of  what was supposed to be an alternative to the modern world’s financial order, is now embraced by some of worlds’ biggest banks? 

Banks all over the world are offering Bitcoin-related services to their customers at a rapid pace; accelerating the recognition and acceptance of Bitcoin. In the US, for example, banks are now able to offer their customers custody for their Bitcoins. In European banks such as Germany and Italy, customers are able to buy Bitcoin directly from their banks.

3. Bitcoin is always in the limelight 

Whether it’s good or bad news, Bitcoin publicity and chatters are growing. In the earlier days, Bitcoin was linked to black market deals, including the notorious Silkroad platform. However, Bitcoin’s reputation has indeed cleaned up over the years. 

Not only was it discussed in The Big Bang Theory TV series, there are now several movies with plots surrounding Bitcoin. The story surrounds the Winklevoss twins and their purchase of 120,000 Bitcoins at an average price of USD $10. 

I guess we can all agree that Bitcoin is like a buzzword these days. People are discussing Bitcoin on the news, you also hear about Bitcoin on Youtube and podcasts. Even people around you, like your family and friends probably chatted about Bitcoin with you at some point. 

Bitcoin power
When it comes to cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin is the “Big Daddy”. Source: Mohamed Hassan on Pxhere

What comes next for cryptocurrencies?

For those of you who have bought Bitcoin, delving deeper into the cryptocurrencies market to explore what other coins and tokens are out there, seems almost like a natural path. Whether or not other cryptocurrencies will ever surpass the market cap of Bitcoin remains unknown, especially when the cryptocurrencies market is still so young. 

However, what is apparent is that the cryptocurrencies market as a whole, is growing. And at an exponential pace. Even with a global pandemic unfolding globally in 2021, the demand of cryptocurrency continues to strengthen. 

Whatever one’s opinion on Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, or what economists and commentators may have ‘predict’, it seems that Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies are here to stay. Will cryptocurrency succeed in doing what many of its early adopters claim it was destined to; such as replacing central bank and government-controlled fiat money? 

Well, only time will tell.

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