They are very different beasts really, but yes, imo it could take off in a more serious way. Velocity of money is critical to driving economic growth. Deflationary assets (hard money like gold or BTC) tend to slow down the velocity as they increase in value over time and therefore have a high ‘hold’ incentive. This is part of the reason I don’t see BTC as currency and I suspect all attempts to make it replace fiat currency (soft money) will fail. A deflationary asset will always be volatile and bad for budgeting your business or your weekly shop, the velocity of it will also always be low as users tend not to want to part with it when they know it will keep rising in value.
Societies work much better when they have easy access to both hard and soft money. As Simon Dixon likes to say, BTC is like your savings account, you dip in and out of it and you add to it over time, but when it comes to daily-spending you need soft, stable money too.
BTC has exploded in value because it is the perfect deflationary investment and it started from nothing, so the initial phases of growth are necessarily huge. Some people do use BTC as currency out of necessity (like Venezuelans and the online black markets), but broadly speaking most of us don’t like to spend our BTCs because they go up in value.
SafeCoin is a very interesting proposition. It is a kind of hard money. It’s backed by real-world resources, deflationary/limited in supply etc. However, SafeCoin’s unique utility is broader than that of BTC. Anyone who wants to use the network MUST burn their coins to do so, and if anyone can earn small amounts of coin for free then we can see how there might be a greater tendency to spend and increase velocity for a utility than with a simple investment asset like BTC.
I suspect SafeCoin will have an inverse relationship to BTC in terms of how it is used. My guess is most will ‘use’ their small amount of (free) coins and they will have a high velocity and help improve the SAFE economy. A smaller proportion of the whole is likely to be ‘invested’ as a hard asset imo (although of course there will be plenty of investors just as BTC has plenty of users).
I think the focus on utility and the higher percentage of users to investors will have a really positive effect on SafeCoin personally. Despite being a deflationary asset it should behave like soft money in some ways. I imagine it will be a little more stable in the longer term and it should reach a critical mass much sooner than BTC. With a high velocity it could help sustain a really thriving economy without needing the pyramid scheme investment that BTC required. I don’t need to buy-in to SAFE to increase the value of the network or coins. As soon as I start farming I have added the value of my spare resources. So, if SAFE can really monetise a lot of spare capacity, create a thriving internal economy with high velocity of money, and satisfy investor desire for deflationary investment and a store of value, well then, I’d say SafeCoin at least has the potential for quicker and more sustained growth (less volatile in terms of downswings if backed by more utility than speculation) than BTC ever had.