A new report by the software firm DataLight predicted that Bitcoin could become the world’s top payment system within the next decade if it maintains its current growth rate.
“In just 10 years, Bitcoin has managed to compete with the leaders of the payment system industry,” the report found. “Bitcoin’s development is occurring exponentially. If it maintains this pace, in another 10 years, it will surpass all competition.”
For so long, global payments have been championed by platforms like Visa, Mastercard and PayPal, who offer seamless, if flawed, payment options for individuals and companies.
In its report, DataLight wrote that while Bitcoin still has fewer users than established payment networks like Visa and Mastercard, these two in particular were established over half a century ago.
Currently, there are about 25 million Bitcoin wallets in the world, per DataLight, while the total number of debit and credit cards in circulation amounts to over 5 billion.
However, according to DataLight, the next few years will bring about advancements in the Bitcoin network that will make the world’s most popular digital asset more useful to mainstream consumers.
DataLight also pointed out that Bitcoin offers significantly lower fees on individual transactions conducted. And, the firm pointed out, while Bitcoin has about 10,000 active nodes, the numbers of data centers being managed by Mastercard and Visa are 89 and 119 respectively.
The researchers didn’t shy away from the shortcomings of the cryptocurrency, particularly around its rate of transactions processed per second. Currently, Bitcoin can only process seven transactions per second, compared with Visa’s 65,000 transactions per second. Scaling solutions like the Lightning Network could be instrumental in Bitcoin’s rise.
“Technical improvement of Bitcoin’s network is almost certain to make it the world’s main payment system,” DataLight wrote. “This is why the bear trend of 2018 will be another dip before the exponential growth and new all time highs.”
This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.