Wide adoption is the holy grail for early cryptocurrency traders, but I think the crypto community is about to spend a lot more time pondering the details on what wide adoption would actually look like. Because for me, the real winner is going to be the currency that can handle the most transactions per second. This is why I'm predicting that transaction speed will be by far the most predictive metric when analyzing the long-term success of a particular currency.
Suppose, as a thought experiment, we were to imagine a city of a million people who adopt a single cryptocurrency for all their transactions. How long would one of them have to wait for confirmation of a bitcoin transaction? An Ethereum transaction? The rest of them?
Let's further suppose that the average number of transactions per day was two transactions per person. That's 2,000,000 transactions per day just from this one medium-sized city.
Bitcoin can handle 7 transactions per second, which means that 2,000,000 transactions would be complete in just over 198 DAYS. One day of commerce, 198 days to settle up the tab. And wide adoption will have a LOT more than just a million participants.
And don't tell me that we'll just adopt enough blockchains to cover everyone who needs to use cryptocurrency. Sorry, such an approach would lead to countless competing currencies, which would present challenges to economic growth on its own.
If one or several cryptocurrencies are to rise above the rest, they must be able to comfortably handle an ever growing transaction load. That will be the factor that determines the future.