He said: “Even after multiple tweaks to its blockchain technology, the Bitcoin network is still limited to below 10 transactions per second, a tiny fraction of Visa’s reported 24,000-per-second capacity.
“This scalability constraint is not easily solved and could lead to processing delays and/or high transaction fees, especially at times of peak demand. A multi-hour settlement delay and $10 fee, both of which are currently expected for a typical Bitcoin transaction, would discourage even the most techno-optimist shopper.
“Mainstream adoption of Bitcoin as an alternative currency for daily transactions seems unlikely. Semi-decentralized cryptocurrencies, such as Ripple, are more promising on that front, though they also have drawbacks in terms of weaker security and higher susceptibility to regulation.
“Off-the-blockchain workarounds, such as Mastercard’s plan to facilitate conversions from crypto to fiat currency at the point of sale, should help improve crypto’s credibility but without solving Bitcoin’s longer-term scalability issue.”
Instead, Mattina said Bitcoin could gain more ground in handling large international fund transfers, with fees being independent of transaction amounts, meaning transferring funds on the Bitcoin blockchain can be cheap and fast.