Thank you @TrendFollower for your comments, it's certainly an interesting discussion.
Responding to the above quote: I think also there is a difference between buying "physical" bitcoin and trading via IG Index, an ETF etc. Bitcoin in theory may have been a better store of value purely from a price perspective, but if you owned "physical" bitcoin there is a higher probability (than gold) that either your bitcoin would have been stolen or you would have lost access to it.
Anyway, I do notice companies (from startups to large, established giants such as Microsoft) announcing various blockchain/crypto related initiatives/projects. I do however remain skeptical about the motivation for this, are the big companies "doing something" so that they are seen to be "doing something"? And how many of these projects are producing real world solutions?
I've just read the Starbucks news: "Starbucks will install Bakkt’s payment software in its branches, which will allow customers to pay with digital assets. Such payments will be instantly converted to fiat, however, so that the coffee giant does not have to deal with crypto".
From another article:
"So how is Flexa already letting Cameron Winklevoss pay for that Starbucks coffee with crypto, and how are the 15 other enterprises also doing so? First, users need to download the app from Apple’s App store, then send it their asset of choice from any cryptocurrency wallet. While Gemini custodies the crypto funds, Spedn takes care of the payment itself by generating a one-time QR code on the phone’s screen, which is scanned by the participating store’s existing scanner, debiting the amount charged from the customer’s account. While the customer gets a receipt showing the purchase as a gift card, Spedn settles the payment with the merchant in the preferred currency at a later date."
So Starbucks is not taking any risk on Bitcoin nor holding Bitcoin on it's accounts - it will simply allow bitcoin to be converted to fiat at it's stores, or rather it's accepting a "voucher" for a coffee, the voucher just so happens to have been bought with Bitcoin. In this case you could replace this process with any other form of voucher/coupon/points/loyalty scheme.
There is no doubt that Bitcoin is an interesting speculative instrument and can provide lots of trading opportunities. However I will remain skeptical until I start getting paid in crypto and can spend it anywhere (with no fiat conversion) - the ultimate sign of adoption will be when I can pay my taxes in it (and my parents start using it).