The Future of Crypto Payments in the Retail Market
In the original whitepaper, Satoshi Nakamoto envisioned Bitcoin as a peer-to-peer version of electronic cash that would facilitate transactions without the oversight on a trustworthy, centralized party.
Since then, cryptocurrency has surged in popularity as an asset class – and Bitcoin is now just one of many digital currencies out there. Investment has poured into the sector because many see the blockchain as an important foundational technology for the future, and it’s also gained traction for speculative reasons.
However, strictly from a payments perspective, certain issues have cropped up since the original Bitcoin vision was outlined, and they’ve ultimately prevented crypto from receiving mainstream adoption as a currency for day-to-day transactions.
What are these obstacles, and how will they be overcome?
The Retail Opportunity
Today’s infographic comes to us from NetCents, and it highlights the growing acceptance of cryptocurrency by retailers and a willingness for consumers to consider using it.
Importantly, the graphic also highlights the major hindrances preventing crypto from reaching mass payment adoption, as well as how the future may look significantly different than today.
In 2017, the amount of brick-and-mortar retailers accepting crypto grew by 30.3% to 11,291 retailers globally.
At the same time, users have also warmed up to the idea: a recent survey found that 40% of people familiar with the digital currency would be open to using it in everyday transactions.
So why aren’t most people able to buy a coffee at their neighborhood cafe with Bitcoin?
There are three main obstacles to using cryptocurrency for everyday transactions. (Note: this list mainly focuses on Bitcoin examples)
1. Price volatility
In 2017 alone, the Bitcoin price fluctuated between $1,000 and $20,000. Big swings in price make it unattractive for day-to-day transactions.
2. Slow transaction times
The average confirmation for Bitcoin takes about 20 minutes per transaction right now – but during past stretches of activity (such as in Jan 2018), it got as high as 41 hours.
3. High transaction fees
The average transaction costs around $1 right now, but just months ago, the average Bitcoin transaction costed $40.
These factors are not necessarily problematic at all times – but one can see why these challenges may make crypto less appealing for everyday retail transactions, such as one at the grocery store or the local coffee shop.
Crypto to the Masses?
Despite these concerns, there is much optimism that crypto can be a boon to retailers – even brick-and-mortar ones. The blockchain is still new, and people around the world are working to solve these payments issues night and day.
Crypto e-payments companies are constantly introducing new technologies and features that could potentially decrease transaction costs and provide instant settlements for retailers, while also eliminating the issue of fraudulent chargebacks. Making ground on these issues would make crypto significantly more appealing to the masses as a form of payment.
What else needs to be done to push crypto into the mainstream?
Nvidia Joins the Trillion Dollar Club
America’s biggest chipmaker Nvidia has joined the trillion dollar club as advancements in AI move at lightning speed.
Nvidia Joins the Trillion Dollar Club
Chipmaker Nvidia is now worth nearly as much as Amazon.
America’s largest semiconductor company has vaulted past the $1 trillion market capitalization mark, a milestone reached by just a handful of companies including Apple, Amazon, and Microsoft. While many of these are household names, Nvidia has only recently gained widespread attention amid the AI boom.
The above graphic compares Nvidia to the seven companies that have reached the trillion dollar club.
Riding the AI Wave
Nvidia’s market cap has more than doubled in 2023 to over $1 trillion.
The company designs semiconductor chips that are made of silicon slices that contain specific patterns. Just like you flip an electrical switch by turning on a light at home, these chips have billions of switches that process complex information simultaneously.
Today, they are integral to many AI functions—from OpenAI’s ChatGPT to image generation. Here’s how Nvidia stands up against companies that have achieved the trillion dollar milestone:
|Joined Club||Market Cap|
|Peak Market Cap
Note: Market caps as of May 30th, 2023
After posting record sales, the company added $184 billion to its market value in one day. Only two other companies have exceeded this number: Amazon ($191 billion), and Apple ($191 billion).
As Nvidia’s market cap reaches new heights, many are wondering if its explosive growth will continue—or if the AI craze is merely temporary. There are cases to be made on both sides.
Bull Case Scenario
Big tech companies are racing to develop capabilities like OpenAI. These types of generative AI require vastly higher amounts of computing power, especially as they become more sophisticated.
Many tech giants, including Google and Microsoft use Nvidia chips to power their AI operations. Consider how Google plans to use generative AI in six products in the future. Each of these have over 2 billion users.
Nvidia has also launched new products days since its stratospheric rise, spanning from robotics to gaming. Leading the way is the A100, a powerful graphics processing unit (GPU) well-suited for machine learning. Additionally, it announced a new supercomputer platform that Google, Microsoft, and Meta are first in line for. Overall, 65,000 companies globally use the company’s chips for a wide range of functions.
Bear Case Scenario
While extreme investor optimism has launched Nvidia to record highs, how do some of its fundamental valuations stack up to other giants?
As the table below shows, its price to earnings (P/E) ratio is second-only to Amazon, at 214.4. This shows how much a shareholder pays compared to the earnings of a company. Here, the company’s share price is over 200 times its earnings on a per share basis.
|P/E Ratio||Net Profit Margin (Annual)|
Consider how this looks for revenue of Nvidia compared to other big tech names:
$NVDA $963 billion market cap, 38x Revenue
$MSFT $2.5 trillion market cap, 12x Revenue$TSLA $612 billion market cap, 7.8x Revenue$AAPL $2.75 trillion market cap, 7.3x Revenue$GOOG $1.6 trillion market cap, 6.1x Revenue$META $672 billion market cap, 6x Revenue pic.twitter.com/VgkKAfiydx
— Martin Pelletier (@MPelletierCIO) May 29, 2023
For some, Nvidia’s valuation seems unrealistic even in spite of the prospects of AI. While Nvidia has $11 billion in projected revenue for the next quarter, it would still mean significantly higher multiples than its big tech peers. This suggests the company is overvalued at current prices.
Nvidia’s Growth: Will it Last?
This is not the first time Nvidia’s market cap has rocketed up.
During the crypto rally of 2021, its share price skyrocketed over 100% as demand for its GPUs increased. These specialist chips help mine cryptocurrency, and a jump in demand led to a shortage of chips at the time.
As cryptocurrencies lost their lustre, Nvidia’s share price sank over 46% the following year.
By comparison, AI advancements could have more transformative power. Big tech is rushing to partner with Nvidia, potentially reshaping everything from search to advertising.
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