Bitcoin entered the scene almost ten years ago and has since become the world’s most important digital currency. At first, it struggled to get vendors and retailers to accept it as a payment method which stood in the way of Bitcoin becoming a true competitor to fiat currencies like USD or EUR. Now, the Bitcoin market is expanding and its acceptance is growing rapidly.
Seemingly, every day a new retailer announces that they have decided to start accepting payments in Bitcoin. It isn’t just peer-to-peer markets – even well-established traditional retailers have started to let shoppers pay in Bitcoin. At some stores, you can even buy gift cards with Bitcoin. Now, more than ever, it is safe to say that Bitcoin is the future.
Why Has Bitcoin Had So Much Success?
When Bitcoin first came on the scene, people didn’t imagine it would find such a great success. Bitcoin started more as an experiment than anything else. Furthermore, it was so different from traditional currencies that it was hard to imagine that BTC could accomplish everything that a physical currency could. Instead, Bitcoin was met with intense skepticism. A lot of it was the fear or the unknown. At a later stage, opinions about Bitcoin have changed drastically. It has become widely used as a payment method and is seen as a promising investment.
One reason is that Bitcoin has been so successful in the media. In recent years, Bitcoin has been everywhere in the mainstream media. Every day you see another article with Bitcoin in the headline. Some of these headlines are negative, for example, informing the general public of hack risks, while others are more positive. Bitcoin has come down to recognition. With so much media hype, almost everyone has heard of it, and this prompted a lot of entrepreneurs to do their own research on Bitcoin. Soon enough, Bitcoin attracted a huge following and its community exploded.
There are plenty of other cryptocurrencies in the market that are nowhere near Bitcoin in usage. One thing that Bitcoin has been so popular is the support of thought leaders. Heavyweights in the technology space, such as Bill Gates, Steve Wozniak, and Richard Branson, have endorsed Bitcoin or the technology behind it. People throughout the business world not only recognize these names but value their opinion. These major endorsements have done a lot to improve a public acceptance of Bitcoin as a payment system and increase coin sales.
While some governments have taken a stand against Bitcoin, such as China, just as many governments have stood up in support of the cryptocurrency. Japan is a great example. In 2017, Japan officially labeled Bitcoin as a legal payment method for services and goods. The value of BTC skyrocketed after the announcement, as well as Bitcoin acceptance. The political support can be just as influential as the public one, as there are many people who feel more confident using a currency that was given the green light by their government.
Online retailers and e-commerce projects are integrating Bitcoin into their operations. Microsoft, OKCupid, and Playboy are just a few of the websites that accept payments in Bitcoin, and the list grows longer every day. This has done a lot to boost the opinion of consumers, many of whom only shop at the websites they trust.
We have also seen an upsurge in new e-commerce sites devoted to cryptocurrency. Peer-to-peer markets like OpenBazaar let users buy products directly with Bitcoin. Think of it as an updated version of eBay.
One sign that Bitcoin acceptance will only continue to grow is that we are even seeing Bitcoin in the real estate market. Services like Bitcoin Real Estate and Canter Companies allow selling property in exchange for Bitcoin.
One of the biggest things that have caused an increase in the number of retailers that accept Bitcoin payments is adoption by banks and financial institutions. It is important that even when the price of Bitcoin has dipped at various points, this has had little effect on Bitcoin acceptance. Goldman Sachs is just one of the companies that have come out in support of Bitcoin. This has helped a lot by increasing consumer confidence in the crypto market. Since a lot of people already trust such companies, it gave them the push they needed to try out Bitcoin.
The biggest obstacle Bitcoin faces when it comes to acceptance is its volatility. Had high volatility not been an issue, the impact of Bitcoin would likely be even greater than it is now. But as the market grows and matures, cryptocurrency acceptance might explode. If Bitcoin can offer a truly stable currency in addition to all of the advantages it already offers, it will become what it meant to be and can potentially replace traditional money.
Author: Mary Ann Callahan
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