Why should we care about Bitcoin?
There is so much hype and discussion about the cryptocurrency that we know as Bitcoin that sometimes it can be a little difficult to know what the facts are and whether this is a currency that will be a sustainable force for change or another flashinthepan fad that makes a handful of people very wealthy and leaves the rest of us feeling a little bewildered.
Here are a few reasons why it is still worth keeping an eye on the world’s first digital, virtual, cryptocurrency.
You can use Bitcoin to pay for things you might need
One of the key success factors of Bitcoin is whether it can build enough momentum or demand that retailers and service providers make the required changes to their systems so that they can accept Bitcoin as a form of payment. Initially there was a perception that the anonymity of Bitcoin transactions meant that it was really only those involved in illegal activities that wanted to use Bitcoin. But the Silk Road site has been closed down and all sorts of retailers and service providers seem to be opening their doors to consumers wanting to pay with Bitcoin. For example, you can even pay your tuition fees at US university The King’s College with Bitcoin plus universities in the United Kingdom, and Cyprus have also declared that they will accept Bitcoin as a form of payment.
The Dutch are doing it
The Netherlands has always prided itself as being a country of advanced thinkers and early adopters. Now The Hague (the home or the Netherlands’ parliament) has declared two of its streets as a Bitcoin boulevard. The two streets that border the canal – Bierkade and Groenewegje – now have a majority of shopkeepers who accept Bitcoin. The good news is that the shops offer things that you might actually want to buy – for example you can find nine restaurants on these streets where you can pay for your meal in Bitcoin.
The momentum is growing
Since the creation of the Bitcoin network, its block chain (or general ledger) has enabled over fortythree million transactions. The first transaction was made on 12th January 2009 by Satoshi Nakamoto (the pseudonym of the group of developers who created Bitcoin).
Poland loves Bitcoin
There’s lots of fascinating anomalies when it comes to Bitcoin – for example, while the economy of France dwarfs that of Poland, Poland has more Bitcoin users than France, and it’s believed that Poland is one of the 10 biggest Bitcoin mining and trading locations for Bitcoin. There are several questions still unanswered about Bitcoin – one of the main concerns is that most of the value of Bitcoin is held by a small number of people which is constricting the volume of transactions and slowing down its adoption as a form of payment.
Is Bitcoin here to stay? It is probably a little too early to tell. What we do know is that the technology created by Bitcoin has demonstrated that a cryptocurrency is not only possible but sustainable.
It seems that the world is ready for a digital, virtual currency.