Even though cryptocurrency hasn’t yet taken off the way it was originally intended, as an alternative to fiat, it is making progress. Across the globe, it is slowly finding its way into mainstream retail. However, even without having a dedicated presence as legal tender, the cryptocurrency ecosystem is still disrupting commerce in general as it is part of a larger digital system that is reshaping commerce. Jason Simon, an expert in FinTech and cryptocurrency, explains how.

Shopping is changing due to cryptocurrency and the Internet. eCommerce has rapidly gained a larger market share and shoppers now have more choices than ever before. This is reflected even more in the younger generations, which are used to interacting more with technology. The transition to eCommerce shopping isn’t slowing down and, as the Millennials advance, following generations are going to follow the same path. Ultimately, this means brick-and-mortar retail will lose even further ground.

China has emerged at the forefront of eCommerce shopping and the West is now trying to catch up. Says Simon, “Live-streaming in selling has put China at the forefront of eCommerce, surpassing $20 trillion in 2020. The US is at $7 trillion. Half on all purchases in China are expected to be done online by the end of the year, and just three companies control 80% of the market. Super App ecosystem, those that allow consumers to handle all of their purchasing needs through a single app, allow better control and more data.”

The West has a long way to go and hasn’t seemed to be ready to embrace eCommerce. The US, for example, has 2.2 square meters of retail space for every inhabitant. In China, that figure is less than 0.75. There are multiple reasons for this, but one point, in particular, stands out. Western consumers don’t want to give up their personal data. This is contrary to what is found in China, where consumers readily share information with retailers, which helps grow the online shopping ecosystem.

That lack of willingness to share data is a huge factor in the success of eCommerce. Direct-to-consumer online selling is gaining attention and big-box retailers are scrambling to keep up. Asserts Simon, “All shopping apps collect data, including where the phone’s owner is shopping, what sites it visits online, and more. Some can even know how far athletes run or how long they work out each day. It is said that there are currently 33 trillion gigabytes of user data being accumulated, and this is expected to jump to 175 trillion gigabytes within five years. Ultimately, data will drive consumer activity in the future.”