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Bitcoin, it’s the future of online payment don’t you know.
After the initial rush of media intrigue and early adopter excitement, what happened next for the digital currency from the future?
How widespread has the uptake for bitcoin been for online (or even offline) retail?
Bitcoin, the latest and arguably most successful ‘virtual currency’ to date, is causing a stir in many circles.
The digital currency stands completely alone from any government, central bank or other type of business to underwrite its value, and Bitcoin exchanges take place directly between the buyer and seller – meaning no banks are involved to facilitate Bitcoin payments.
In this post, I'll look at the future of these crypto currencies.
It’s been a tumultuous month for the bitcoin community. A series of scandals has seen the price of the leading crypto-currency fall by over 50% from its peak of almost $1200 in December.
There’s been no shortage of criticism of bitcoin from economists and leading business people who see its recent woes as the start of its decline.
Yet despite all of this, the price is rising again and advocates of digital currencies remain optimistic.
Their outlook has been boosted by other news such as HRMC’s updated guidance that VAT is not chargeable on bitcoin transactions, which addresses a major spur to bitcoin-related innovation in the UK.
So is bitcoin real or still a passing fad? What needs to happen for it to move from its status as a water-cooler topic, to a genuine financial tool used by many people?
In February we surveyed 2,065 adults on their awareness and usage of bitcoin.
Our research identified three of the challenges facing these emerging currencies: security, usability and the language of crypto-currencies. Recent events have highlighted that these issues remain a challenge that the bitcoin sector needs to overcome.
“Bitcoin is a virtual currency.” How many articles have you read recently containing this phrase, or something similar?
I find this quite annoying, as it’s a bit like saying “a computer is a word processor”.
It’s true… but it’s not a comprehensive definition.
Money is changing, with a range of innovative new technologies looking to disrupt the established financial structures.
Chief among these are the crypto-currencies such as Bitcoin.
But what are they, where did they come from, and are they really a threat to the traditional monetary system?
I was raised in the UK, so it’s perhaps not surprising that I used to feel that any currency without a picture of the Queen on it was not real money.
Now having lived in the Eurozone and America, I have liberalised, but I seriously question whether our customers need a currency like Bitcoin.
Bitcoin, the decentralized and anonymous (or almost-anonymous) digital currency, has been a top headline grabber in 2012.
And for good reason: Bitcoin has not only gained more adoption than skeptics could have imagined possible, but it has created a fascinating discussion around how currency will evolve in the 21st century.