By Luke Willmott, operations director at AutoCoinCars
“There’s no doubt that the global Covid-19 pandemic has markets and currencies across the globe spinning out of control with no sign of slowing, but there is one exception to the rule – cryptocurrency.
“A mere five years ago, people were able to purchase a singular bitcoin for as little as £250. Today, you’re more likely to be paying somewhere in the region of £7,500, an increase of almost 3000%. In early February 2020, the market value of Bitcoin dropped from £8,000 to £3,200 leading to scepticism about the currency’s long-term stability and whether cryptocurrencies are the safe haven they are recognised as being.
“To many people’s surprise, the market has made a significant recovery in the months that followed and has almost returned to its initial valuation of £7,500 per Bitcoin – making it stand apart from traditional currencies, all of which are still feeling the pinch of the pandemic. Surely, earning its place as one of the top 10 fintech predictions for 2020.
The cryptocurrency revolution
“In my opinion, the long-term outlook of cryptocurrency is incredibly positive. While some may question whether the cryptocurrency industry will still exist in 10-years, we believe it is more a case of how far the journey of adoption will go throughout other industries.
“Cryptocurrencies’ ability to be used within almost every market imaginable is what makes the technology so uniquely game-changing. As of yet, there has been little to no implementation of cryptocurrency across retail, eCommerce, aviation or hospitality, so this presents new opportunities to tap into previously unattainable marketplaces. If anything, cryptocurrency is becoming even more prominent by the hour – we’ve seen some of the UK’s biggest and well-known car dealerships, including Redline Specialist Cars, Benz Bavarian and Saxton4x4, all adopt cryptocurrency as a readily available payment method.
“According to Coinmarketcap, the UK has seen a 91% increase in cryptocurrency adoption rates, a trend which we have seen mirrored within the automotive industry. Despite the difficult economic circumstances, AutoCoinCars has seen its most significant increase in sales during the Covid-19 pandemic since its formation – signalling a significant shift in what has previously been a very traditional ‘cash-in-hand’ industry. Dealers and retailers across the UK are recognising the value that a cryptocurrency payment solution can bring to their business – granting them access to an entirely new area within the market and offering consumers a safe and secure way of paying.
The future is cashless
“With Bitcoin halving having occurred on 20 May, there will only ever be a total of 21 million Bitcoins in existence at any given time – this undoubtedly changes the cryptocurrency supply and demand equation, while also generating higher public awareness around Bitcoin. This event combined with the Covid-19 crisis has seen cryptocurrencies propelled from a niche, possibly unstable asset, to a mainstream payment method – begging the question, with social distancing measures set to stay in place across the globe and many retailers continuing to avoid notes and coins, are we on the way to a cashless society where cryptocurrency is the front runner?
“The transition towards a cashless society was already taking place in various industries across the globe – but Covid-19 has provided enough motive to see this fully infiltrate our societies. Cryptocurrency isn’t new and was around way before this crisis, however, the pandemic has given the digital payment solution the platform it deserves, thrusting it into the limelight, with many people recognising the value it has in a post-Covid-19 landscape. Consumers can now see the benefit of being able to purchase items such as property, cars and watches all through cryptocurrency and contactless payments.
“In the coming months and years, we will see cryptocurrency become just as popular as the contactless payments we know today. It won’t be long before we will all have the option of purchasing our weekly shopping through cryptocurrency on our smartphones. This large jump in up-take is due to the greater level of control that cryptocurrency allows consumers to have over their finances. When faced with this global pandemic, cryptocurrency has proven to be a stable asset for many and the ability to ensure their finances are kept away from banks with contactless purchases is certainly appealing during this crisis.
“Cryptocurrency has recently seen a 30% increase in uptake as consumers look for stable, reliable and easy routes to make purchases and this pandemic has presented the perfect opportunity for cryptocurrency to continue gaining momentum. For example, while the automotive market is underperforming, the AutoCoinCars platform has seen a 1000% increase in sales since the lockdown began – a trend that we have no doubt will continue to expand and grow until the digital currency is one of the key purchasing options in a completely cashless society.
“Undoubtedly 2019 was a transformative year for cryptocurrency but throughout 2020, it is predicted to grow even further. Cryptocurrency is expected to become stronger as it operates globally at a time when most nations have closed their borders and are facing an economy seriously impacted by the Covid-19 crisis.
“The performance of the UK’s automotive industry so far in 2020 makes for shocking reading and it is saddening to witness the impact Covid-19 is having on the industry. However, this is not a trend that is reflected across the whole market – sales within the cryptocurrency automotive trading industry are up, despite these challenging circumstances.
“One of the main reasons that we are continuing to see more people purchase cars through cryptocurrency is the control it allows consumers to have over their finances. When faced with this global pandemic, cryptocurrency has proven to be a stable asset for many and the ability to ensure their finances are kept away from banks is certainly appealing during this crisis.
“This big jump in adoption rates from UK car dealers signals a clear shift in the industry. Retailers who previously operated through more traditional payment processes are recognising not only the added value that cryptocurrency brings to their business but also that it will completely transform the automotive trading industry, for the better.