This is a view of the main problem with the crypto economy and a possible solution.
The 'hundredth monkey' is a legend about a group of islands that had some monkeys. A few monkeys learned the use of some tool very slowly over time. At some point the number of monkeys who used the tool gradually reached 100, and at that point the tool use began jumping to other islands.
The legend is usually used to point to some hidden synchronicity in how groups learn things, and in the case of digital currency it helps explain why the new economy has been slow to catch on.
Bitcoin was developed by a cryptographer, and all of the initial users were cryptographers or more broadly 'developers'. In other words not a cross section of society.
Bitcoin, and most digital currencies, were and are designed specifically to benefit one group of people first, even if there is a lot of hype about trying to get widespread adoption. Their primary market is developers and the people who 'follow' developers.
Ethereum, the second cryptocurrency at the moment, is even more exclusive than bitcoin. It's basic function is as a 'developer's currency' with the premise being that common folk should be given the opportunity to follow developers.
Ripple, the third currency at the moment, has even less common sense appeal than ethereum. Not only is it marketed to a narrow segment of the population, it is controlled by an even tinier segment. In other words it does not have the benefits of bitcoin, and it does not introduce anything new that involves providing a useful tool to anybody.
These three coins, and almost all others, are very hierarchical in who they market to. There are whales and large speculators and pump crews at the top, then developers, then the rabble, the common folk. There is no chance of a 'hundredth monkey' effect unless the coins were forced on people for generations.
A few coins have tried to start an organic growth focused on the common person but because the underlying concept of digital currency hasn't caught on yet, except as a way to make quick profits i.e., to gamble, even these coins aren't likely to catch soon.
When bitcoin briefly first started 'catching' around 2013 to 2015, it was because it solved an immediate problem for a vast basic part of society. Anybody could spend a little while on the computer and easily make a small amount of money.
A lot of people at the bottom of the economic totem pole did online tasks or whatever and the potential was obvious.
Unfortunately, the next step was a plethora of scammy coins. Bitcoin was more or less respected initially, but the first wave of coins that were heavily promoted in 2013 and 2014 were a big step down, much lower quality.
The first big boost bitcoin got, credibility from taskwork and word of mouth by low income users, was never built upon by a respectable coin.
Neucoin was an attempt to imitate the appeal, but it was overly corporate and poorly thought through. Most other coins were simple money grabs with premines or short emission curves.
There has not been a single coin yet that was designed for mass adoption using taskwork, and built around an ethical framework.
Unfortunately now it will most likely be corporate and government coins that will start that field.
Once the first corporate taskwork coins start coming out, they will recreate the early appeal of bitcoin, but under whatever set of rules the corporate entity imposes. So they are likely to become very successful, even though a step in the wrong direction from early bitcoin.
Once the first government taskwork coins start coming out they will have all the charm of the governments that issue them, including the ability to make competing coins illegal or otherwise target them.
The only solution at that point will be very local taskwork coins that stay one step ahead of corporate and government coins.
This would be, for example, a 'human input' or 'human mining' coin that was open source and highly customizable by any group.
Once, or if, this last type of coin develops it will have the ability to create the 'hundredth monkey' effect, making the technology an innate human tool.