While cryptocurrency has helped smart tech investors make a lot of money, Bitcoin and the altcoins that have come after it have a much wider purpose than just acting as an investment scheme. James Rutter, our IT & Innovation Specialist gives us insight below on bitcoin's rise as a global currency.
Cryptocurrency was created as an alternative payment method - one that was free from the regulations that centralised currencies are subject to and promoted the anonymity of its users. While the news is constantly filled with stories about how the state of the market, we rarely hear about the more practical uses for cryptocurrencies.
For example, back in 2010 a developer paid 10,000 Bitcoin for two pizzas. Unfortunately, these are now probably the most expensive pizzas ever ordered as the value of those Bitcoin is now worth over £130m.
Some huge global businesses have also historically accepted Bitcoin among their e-commerce sites. Microsoft has been taking Bitcoin for a variety of digital content, such as its Xbox service, since 2014 and the following year Dell also announced that it would also be accepting the cryptocurrency through a partnership with Coinbase.
And it’s not just online stores. While they may be few and far between, there are physical stores that currently embrace Bitcoin. The Sacramento Kings NBA franchise are among those who will accept the first cryptocurrency for many items including tickets, jerseys and even hot dogs from within the stadium.
Towards the eastern side of the world, Bitcoin has been seeing a lot of popularity in Japan. Recently a company announced that they will give employees the option to receive a certain percent of their monthly salary in Bitcoin as they try to get a better understanding of the digital currency.
Japan’s eagerness to embrace Bitcoin has been huge and since the country passed a law that recognised the cryptocurrency as an official currency, it has worked to begin the rollout of over 260,000 stores that will accept Bitcoin.
While many users are still waiting for a more widespread adoption of Bitcoin around the world, there are also those simply are not willing to part with their cryptocurrencies due to the market activity that has been making many people wealthy.
Throughout Europe, the adoption of cryptocurrency has been handled with caution as banks and businesses are careful to jump onto something with such a considerable risk. However, if cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Litecoin continue to surge at such a substantial rate, then the banks already know that they cannot continue to ignore it.
Behind the scenes banks are already preparing projects and analysing just how they can safely implement cryptocurrency services into their current offerings. However, with the economy at stake, they need to ensure that they have all the right tools to ensure they can be used safely and securely. Cyber security and cryptocurrency experts should be in high demand over the coming years as Bitcoin and the other altcoins continue to become more viable as a real payment method.