Mass crypto adoption is already happening globally but is not yet prevalent in the United States or Europe, where Bitcoin is not yet widely accepted. Instead, IOV Labs’ Daniel Fogg notes that emerging markets are driving the increase in adoption, with cryptocurrencies offering solutions to everyday problems.
In an interview with Cointelegraph at the Bitcoin Builders Conference in Miami, Fogg discussed topics such as Bitcoin pragmatism, global adoption, and how emerging economies are shaping the future of the crypto industry.
Fogg believes that emerging markets are leading the way in crypto adoption because these countries have significant macroeconomic challenges. As a result, people in these regions will likely experience their first meaningful digital banking experience on crypto rails in the coming years.
“People on the streets have a pressing need to protect their income, to get access to U.S. dollars to get a loan. […] We’re seeing these massive shifts. For me, if you want to look at the future of what I hope crypto will become, it exists today in Turkey, Colombia, Nigeria, Argentina. It doesn’t exist today in the United States or the U.K.”
Fogg also pointed out that the crypto space is evolving through two major use cases: decentralized finance (DeFi) solutions for people seeking alternative investment opportunities, and acquiring stablecoins pegged to the U.S. dollar for savings and daily payments in economies affected by inflation, devaluation, and other monetary problems.
“I think there’s a kind of bifurcation in what DeFi could become, advanced DeFi, which is a lot of what I think the usage in America and Europe will be […], and then everyday DeFi, which is what you’re going to see in emerging markets every day.”
Fogg highlighted that IOV Labs is targeting these emerging markets to scale retail finance, and developing DeFi products for these areas is a key strategy for Rootstock and its sister company, IOV Labs.
Talking about Bitcoin pragmatism, Fogg pointed out that although Bitcoin is a remarkable innovation, Bitcoin alone is not enough. The crypto industry doesn’t yet have a well-established use case for billions of users, and it may take years to achieve that.
“In many cases, we think they’re paying, saving, borrowing, lending, retail finance, etc. But there are many other use cases as well. We have to experiment our way there. And if we are held back by a traditional conservative mindset around what Bitcoin could be, I think that’s to the world’s detriment.”
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Update (5/19/2023 22:00 UTC): This article has been updated to clarify that Daniel Fogg works for IOV Labs only and that IOV Labs is a foundation that supports the development of Rootstock, among other projects.