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Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong is forecasting a timeline for global crypto adoption, saying that the industry is still in its very early days.
In a new episode of Coinbase’s Around the Block podcast, Armstrong says Bitcoin’s market capitalization is not yet big enough for BTC to act as a serious flight-to-safety asset that some of its advocates have been predicting.
However, Armstrong says Bitcoin will manage to fulfil the role of a “new gold” asset class within the next decade.
“Typically in down macro environments, we see there’s a flight to safety. In the traditional economy, that was always gold, commodities, things like that. But I think what we’ve realized in this downturn is that the crypto economy is just not a significant enough percentage of the global economy, the broader economy yet, to be actually treated as that digital gold in the sense that people do a flight to safety towards Bitcoin.
I think we’ll see that probably change over time. I could see in the next five or ten years as the crypto economy really becomes a bigger percentage of the global GDP that people will actually flee to Bitcoin as the sort of ‘new gold’ if you will, but that hasn’t happened yet. Frankly, I’ll admit, I overestimated the chances that Bitcoin would be this inflation hedge in this macro environment. I thought it might actually draw more attention to Bitcoin in this kind of environment, but it looks like we’re a little too early.”
Armstrong says that crypto could follow the same trajectory as e-commerce’s adoption curve.
“It’s such a good a reminder that, even 10 years ago when I started Coinbase, I thought it was super early. But even now today, it’s still super early.
It’s going to take decades for the global macro environment to start to think about the crypto economy as the main thing, and we saw something similar happen with e-commerce back 20 years ago when it first started in 1999-2000. People treated it as this sideshow, they would say ‘Ah, I’d never put my credit card into a website. It might get stolen or something.’ And here we are 20 years later and e-commerce is 15-20% of global GDP.
So I think the crypto economy will follow a similar trajectory. It just means we probably have another five or ten years to go.”