HomeOPINIONHow is Bitcoin slow speed impacting its global adoption?

How is Bitcoin slow speed impacting its global adoption?


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Apart from being the first-ever cryptocurrency, Bitcoin is quite popular as one of the most innovative projects in the 21st century. Founded in 2009 by a programmer who initially identified himself as Satoshi Nakamoto, Bitcoin serves as a store of value and a decentralized medium of exchange.

Satoshis’ whitepaper mentioned blockchain as the the underlying technology of crypto. Don’t forget that a blockchain is a digital ledger of transactions that are replicated and distributed across a network of computer systems.

Bitcoin Adoption

While the actual identity of Satoshi has not been verified, Bitcoin has continued to flourish, witnessing massive interest from the next generation of institutional and individual investors. Today, the project is making headlines as the most-valued cryptocurrency in the market. In countries like El Salvador, Bitcoin remains a legal tender.

Being the first country to adopt Bitcoin, El Salvador seeks to eliminate the menace of a weak national currency. Today, in a bid to encourage widespread adoption, crypto literacy courses are now taught in public schools since early 2024.

More so, countries like Iran also leverage the capacity of Bitcoin to evade U.S. heavy sanctions. Crypto also served as a medium through which millions of donations were made amid the Russia/Ukraine conflict. This simply means Bitcoin as the father of cryptocurrencies is already in the mainstream. It is quite rare to find a savvy investor today without a BTC portfolio.

However, despite the tremendous interest recorded for Bitcoin since its emergence, there are insinuations that it could have even gone past its current adoption level if not for its slow speed. On average, it takes at least ten minutes to mine a block on the network. Don’t forget that a block is a group of Bitcoin transactions. Therefore, sending BTC from one address to another takes up to thirty-forty minutes.

What is Affecting its Global Adoption?

Obviously, the scalability issue surrounding Bitcoin is one of the factors militating against its widespread adoption. While it is important to establish that Bitcoin has now become a global phenomenon, still experts hold the opinion that if the underlying blockchain network of the token complete transactions faster, there could have been more adoption of BTC. Nevertheless, the gospel of Bitcoin is spreading very fast as institutional investors now offer investment products relating to the token. 

This project could have gained more recognition in the world today but its slow processing of transactions is a militating factor. For a project that contributes more than 50% to the total market cap of the cryptocurrency market, the proof of work consensus mechanism is no longer fashionable for Bitcoin. With the PoW mechanism, it charges a high transaction fee and takes time to complete transactions. 

While Bitcoin has established itself as an investment instrument, the next stage of adoption for the token is its usage for day-to-day payment. Considering its popularity, BTC should have grown to become a reliable means of payment and settlement. However, the token is struggling to attain this height because it takes up to 30 minutes for a transaction to reflect. Sometimes, the Bitcoin network could charge as high as $10 to complete a transaction. 

Meanwhile, we’ve seen the development of underlying innovations like the Lighting Network designed to improve the transaction speed of the project. To an extent, the Lightning Network has improved the speed of Bitcoin massively, yet, the token hasn’t enjoyed much adoption as a means of payment and settlement. Hence, it is arguable that the slow speed of BTC is not the major factor that has limited its adoption. 


One of the major reasons why BTC hasn’t enjoyed more adoption is that most individuals are struggling to understand how it works. In advanced countries, BTC has been a well-known means of payment and settlement. People in underdeveloped and developing countries know little about leading technologies; including Bitcoin due to a lack of enabling infrastructure.

Olaleye Komolafe
Olaleye Komolafe
Olaleye is a professional reporter with vast experience in web3, cryptocurrencies, and NFT journalism. He enjoys writing about the evolving metaverse sphere and the prevalence in the crypto sphere. Notably, some of his contents have been published in numerous international publications. Away from the crypto world, Olaleye is a political scientist and a lover of football

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