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if you believe in crypto at all, you believe in real-world use cases

Some critics argue that crypto is all financial engineering without real-world utility. But the truth is, if you believe in crypto at all, you must believe crypto is useful in the real world. Here's why:

practical applications drive adoption

New technologies succeed when they solve real problems and provide practical benefits. Speculation alone is not enough to sustain crypto’s widespread adoption over the long term. The internet took off because it enabled new ways of communicating, accessing information and conducting business. The same needs to happen with crypto and blockchain.

Useful applications are starting to emerge, such as supply chain tracking, digital identities, voting systems, and more. But there needs to be more real-world uses before crypto truly goes mainstream. Without ubiquitous utility, technologies don’t engage the world.

One of the most promising applications of cryptocurrencies is for cross-border payments. Traditional international bank transfers can take days and have high fees, while crypto transactions can be completed in minutes at minimal cost.

Migrant workers using crypto can send money back home to their families faster and keep more of what they earn. Remittances via crypto saw massive growth in 2021 according to Chainalysis. The World Bank estimates that over $500 billion was sent in remittances globally in 2020. Enabling faster, cheaper transfers at scale could dramatically improve financial inclusion.

Beyond remittances, businesses benefit from crypto payments. Enabling the acceptance of crypto can allow businesses to reach new customers and avoid card and banking fees. And since crypto is global it can help  businesses accept payments from customers worldwide.

Decentralized finance (DeFi) enables payments through decentralized lending, exchanges, and apps. Users can earn interest on crypto holdings, borrow against them, and transfer value peer-to-peer on DeFi platforms.

Payment focused cryptos like XRP, Stellar, and Circle's USDC stablecoin are designed to facilitate crypto payments. And networks like Lightning and Flexa enable faster, cheaper crypto payments that rival credit cards.

As these payment platforms mature, crypto will revolutionize how money moves around the globe. Seamless global commerce, accessible financial services for the underbanked, and self-sovereign transactions are made possible by crypto's payments capabilities. New uses will drive adoption beyond speculation.

the promise of decentralization

Much of the enthusiasm around crypto stems from its potential to decentralize power and ownership. Rather than relying on big banks, sovereign governments, and centralized intermediaries, blockchain-based applications allow peer-to-peer transactions.

But decentralization for its own sake is not the end goal. The objective is to allow transactions that don't require third parties, are censorship resistant, and are more secure, efficient, and accessible. Real-world uses that demonstrate these benefits are key to driving decentralization constructively.

token values depend on utility

The values of crypto tokens are fundamentally dependent on their utility. If a network does not have practical uses and create value in the real world, its native token will have little intrinsic value.

Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin have maintained value because people can use them for digital payments and as a store of value. Ethereum has value because its blockchain can run smart contracts for DeFi, NFTs, gaming, and such. New projects need real uses, not just promises, if tokens are to hold value long-term.

going beyond price speculation

If the crypto space remains dominated by price speculation, it will miss out on its deeper potential. History teaches us that underlying utility is the difference between fundamental values and economic bubbles. So the crypto community needs to focus its attention on building and supporting authentic decentralized applications. Moving beyond hype requires tangible solutions.

The bottom line is that real-world utility and decentralization are the true promises of crypto and blockchain. If you believe in these technologies' staying power, you must believe they will have practical applications that improve processes, services, user experiences, and enhanced access to many industries. Without demonstrating meaningful benefits beyond speculation, it's unlikely crypto will reach its potential to re-engineer economic, social and political systems.

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