Bitcoin – where does it stand now?

By now most people will have heard of Bitcoin, but the e-currency that can be used for online payments has yet to make a massive impact on global markets.

Some believe that it has the potential to sweep the world in a similar way to email. This is yet to happen, though. So what is the current state of play? And how far off is a Bitcoin future?

Robert McMillan, a former economist with the U.S trade commission, argued that “the value of having an easy-to-store, hard-to-steal, and hard-to-counterfeit medium of exchange is substantial,” but believes that “Bitcoin’s known and finite supply dooms it as a workable replacement currency.” Brett Gordon, a professor at Columbia’s Graduate School of Business, was also sceptical, believing that the currency would not be sustainable and the bubble would one day burst.

Although the e-currency has been largely criticised by economists, it is making progress and has grown steadily since its inception in 2009. In February 2015, the amount of businesses accepting Bitcoin passed 100,000. This was a fourfold increase on the previous year.

Encouragingly for Bitcoin, some major companies have started accepting the currency. Subway, Dell, and Lionsgate films are examples of huge firms that have decided to offer customers the option to pay in this way.

Some other businesses have decided to solely deal in Bitcoin, and in certain sectors it provides them with a unique edge on the competition. The online casino market is one such sector in which some sites have decided to only deal in the cryptocurrency.

By using Bitcoin, the sites pay much lower fees when processing payments. These fees can range between 0-2%, whereas credit card fees on each transaction start from 2.10% and up according to Merchantmaverick. This allows sites to pass on the savings to players in the form of attractive bonuses and special offers. This is an essential technique to win customers from competitors in the cut-throat world of online casinos. A quick search reveals that registering with Vegas Casino today rewards a welcome bonus of free 1000 mBTC, along with a 100% deposit match.

With businesses prospering from dealing in Bitcoin, many more will continue to follow suit. And all it takes is for one massive company to switch to the currency for it to suddenly boom in value and global usage.

At the present time, there are unconfirmed reports that Facebook wants to use Bitcoin to provide banking and person-to-person money transfers to its users. Surely if such an enormous company was to start using the currency then it would finally be recognised as the form of internet payment for the future.

As it stands, Bitcoin is growing as a global currency, but is yet to take the world by storm as its creators had envisioned. It is here to stay though, and it seems that all it could take is for a global giant like Facebook to accept it for it to become the world’s currency.