Bitcoin is everywhere. It’s controversial, edgy and extremely promising. Although voted as the worst investment in 2014 by notable financial analysts, the digital currency has made several advancements toward legitimacy.
As you’re reading this, government regulations are being created and passed to support bitcoin. Global institutions in the banking industry are starting to use the technology that makes digital transactions possible.
Is the world finally ready for the new, modern currency? Read on to find out.
Recovering from a Bad Start
Safety is the main reason people are hesitant about using bitcoin. Digital wallet services and reputable exchanges have been the focus of crippling attacks, causing individuals to lose their hard-earned money.
Furthermore, persistent waves of reported security beaches from bitcoin service providers caused the value of the virtual currency to drop dramatically. At one point, a single bitcoin was worth over $1000. Today the average exchange rate goes for around 1BTC/250USD.
Despite the cryptocurrency’s rough and mysterious history, the spread of bitcoin has been consistent. Government-backed exchanges in major cities around the world now encourage trades with fiat currencies. As a result, mainstream handling has started to change the dark outlook that individuals have about bitcoin.
The Potential of Blockchain Technology
In order for everyday individuals to accept bitcoin, it has to first gain support from leading financial institutions. But why would big establishments want to stand behind the virtual currency?
The answer is blockchain technology. Blockchain ledgers are composed of networks that manage and verify digital transactions. Compared to outdated financial mediums, the blockchain is fast and reliable. Modern businesses and forward-thinking customers have serious complaints about today’s banking systems. Costly transaction fees, slow fulfillment times and lack of transparency are the main issues that have forced many to look for new ways to process payments and monetary trades.
There’s no doubt that bitcoin technology is the solution to traditional banking roadblocks. However, it’s still not clear whether the payments model can be scaled to handle mainstream transaction volumes.
Better access to bitcoin can help promote its use for daily transactions. Unlike cash, getting hold of digital currency can be difficult. In particular, mining for bitcoin is no easy task for most people. It requires massive amounts of computer processing power and time. Individuals may also choose to buy bitcoin in exchange for local currency. But even this method can sometimes be complicated for the average consumer. A digital wallet is needed to hold bitcoins and a user must find a credible platform to facilitate the trade.
Major ATM service providers have come around to this issue and are now incorporating bitcoin-related features with public tellers. Numerous businesses have also started to accept the virtual currency for payments using apps. In particular, well-known establishments including T-Mobile (Poland), Rakuten (Japan) and Dell (Canada) have taken the initiative to catalyze the bitcoin revolution by readily offering the alternative payments method to open-minded customers.
If users continue to push forward and service providers are able simplify the technical aspects of bitcoin, it will only be a matter of time your local vending machine starts accepting the virtual currency. Oh wait, that’s already here too.