What is the Future of Bitcoin in eCommerce?
You may have heard of the term “Bitcoin” floating around in the past several years, but what exactly is it? Bitcoin is digital money that is transferred between users instead of using a third party (like a bank). Economists regularly argue over bitcoin being actual “money”; it operates more like stock in a company. With a fixed amount of Bitcoins, you buy into the marketplace and sell your bitcoins for cash or use them to purchase items.
Now that you have a relative understanding of what Bitcoin is, it’s important to understand how bitcoin has transitioned from an underground currency to the popularized purchasing power that it is today. In its humble beginnings, bitcoin was typically used in underground markets in order to have anonymous purchasing power. Over time, people found that Bitcoin provided a unique form of money that was used similarly to stock as well as a means to purchase. Today, there are actually ATMs available that will distribute and take bitcoin (these are more common in the United States). As well as Bitcoin becoming popularized with everyday transactions, it has become prominent in various industries.
Who Accepts Bitcoin?
As Bitcoin has arisen as the most popular cryptocurrency, it has successfully infiltrated many reputable businesses as a form of payment. Bitcoins can be used to purchase a plethora of products, as well as services. With the rising popularity of this currency, it would be lunacy to avoid involving it as a method of payment, so it makes sense that businesses are now opening their doors. But who is ahead of the curb?
Well, for one, it should be noted that even WordPress accepts Bitcoin. This is a site that allows a user to create free blog content. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, as the entire business is based online; why wouldn’t they accept online currency? This goes for Overstock.com as well as OkCupid. Online companies are obviously going to benefit from accepting cryptocurrency, and many of the faces of eCommerce, such as BigCommerce and Shopify, have jumped on the bandwagon.
It may not seem surprising that any business that is entirely centered around the internet is going to accept a currency that is run through the internet, but it should definitely surprise you that a business like Subway is also accepting Bitcoin. That’s right, Subway. You can buy a sandwich with Bitcoin. Places like Helen’s Pizza, in New Jersey, have started to accept Bitcoin as well. You can walk up to the register and purchase a slice through your phone. And by purchasing gift cards through Gyft, you can even shop at Whole Foods with bitcoins. Groceries through cryptocurrency? This should give you an idea of the vast popularity of the cryptocurrency, as well as the potential for future use.
What Can You Expect The Future of Bitcoin to Be Like?
It’s hard to say exactly where Bitcoin will go, only that so far it has been steadily rising in popularity and demand. There is a clear benefit to Bitcoin in that the currency can function as both stock and currency, and that it can easily be utilized through online transactions. In reality, Bitcoin is likely to grow exponentially within the eCommerce community. With a literal online currency, there is going to be a growing demand for the acceptance of Bitcoin, and that demand is already being met in many facets of the business world.
It is debatable as to whether Bitcoin will increase the potential for offline transactions. An argument could be made that the rising popularity in online purchases would lead to a preference towards cryptocurrency. If that were to take place, then any store would be foolish not to include Bitcoin in their payment options. People would likely purchase most of their products online and would prefer to use cryptocurrency in public instead of cash. No one wants to have too many forms of payment to juggle, so if cryptocurrency were truly popularized as the main means of purchasing online, it would be likely to bleed out into offline purchases as well.
Another factor that could bring about the downfall of bitcoin would be the rise of other cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin is not the lone cryptocurrency, and although it is the most popular, it is also the first of its kind. It may seem like the optimum cryptocurrency right now, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that another currency won’t prove to be more efficient. It’s also possible that Bitcoin will simply be one of a few popularized cryptocurrencies and plateau once others become steadily utilized. The future of Bitcoin is hard to say, but the concept of cryptocurrency is definitely here to stay as a functioning part of eCommerce, and it’s a smart idea to provide it as a payment option for customers.