Bitcoin is still in its early stages of adoption at this point. Currently, less than 2% of the world uses BTC. Given the current world population of over 7 billion, this is a very small number. With only about 130 million people who use BTC today. Bitcoin has been called a bubble, a flop, and a host of names in the past. In the same way, the rise of the internet was dismissed in the late ‘90s. The current growth pattern of BTC puts it on par with the growth pattern of the internet in 1997.
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Back in 1997, the internet has about 130 million users. This was when no one thought the internet would go anywhere. That it was just a fad that would pass away. But with time, it quickly became obvious that the internet is not going anywhere. And we are seeing the same sentiments surrounding the growth of BTC in the world today. The numbers show that just like in the late ‘90s, the investors who use bitcoin right now are the early birds. And will most likely benefit the most when the digital asset gets wider adoption in the coming years.
Internet Adoption And Bitcoin Adoption
The internet was released in 1983. But didn’t see any significant adoption until the 1990s. This started out slow while people caught up with the technology. This was a completely novel technology that would revolutionize things for the better. By 1997, only about 1.7% of the world was actually using the internet. Just like Bitcoin in 2021. This was a crucial point for internet adoption.
Internet adoption doubles from 1997 to 1998 | Source: Internet World Stats
A year later had seen the number of internet users double. Mass adoption was projected for the next five years and this would turn out to be the case. By the year 2000, the population of the world using the internet had surpassed 5%. Putting the total number of users at that point at over 350 million. From this point to 2005, internet users had hit 1 billion. Signaling mass adoption.
Bitcoin adoption similar to Internet adoption | Source: Cane Island Digital Research
Bitcoin price shows the same movement when compared to internet adoption. The timelines themselves might be a little off. The internet took a couple of years longer to hit 130 million users. But the patterns are strikingly similar.
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An added factor is the fact that Bitcoin has the help of the internet to propel it forward. So the faster timeline in the case of BTC is understandable in this case. Nonetheless, comparing both movements, with the adjusted timeline, puts mass adoption of bitcoin in the next four years. At this point, the number of bitcoin users is expected to hit 1 billion. More of the world will own a piece of the digital asset.
Featured image from In Bitcoin We Trust, chart from TradingView.com