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Cryptocurrency 19 Jun 2017

Is Bitcoin Becoming Mainstream?

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Home Cryptocurrency Is Bitcoin Becoming Mainstream?
In December 2016 bitcoin hit a new all-time high against the pound when one bitcoin was valued at £782.49, well above previous record levels. According to xe.com, one bitcoin is now worth a massive £1,452 – and with this cryptocurrency being used by more than 100,000 people and businesses all over the world, its value looks set to increase.

Considering the near-global adoption of bitcoin, favoured for its decentralised system, it’s no wonder that more people are looking to earn them, spend them, and even gamble with them.

Why Use Bitcoin?

Only you handle your secure bitcoin wallet

Safe, anonymous, no sensitive financial or card information needed

Because it’s an entirely digital currency, bitcoin deposits and withdrawals are exceptionally fast and processed without delay, as opposed to traditional banking methods

How to Earn Bitcoin

By far the most popular way to generate bitcoins when the currency first hit the market, mining involves using your computer to add transactions to the public bitcoin ledger called the blockchain. Even with some of the best bitcoin mining hardware you can only earn around 0.1232 bitcoins a month.

Whether by accepting bitcoins for freelance work or at your business, you can accept bitcoin as a payment method to begin building up your balance. Find out more ways that you can earn bitcoins here.

How to Spend It

There are new ways to spend bitcoin every day, and with over a million products for sale, all available in bitcoin, Overstock.com is one of the companies making it simple to buy common household items without using money.

Coinbase launched the Shift debit card, which allows you to spend bitcoin anywhere that merchants accept cards, while pulling bitcoin from your Coinbase account. It allows suppliers and customers to spend at over 38 million merchants worldwide through using their Visa cards, you can even buy flights through businesses like  Cheapair.com which take bitcoin, or the Shift card.

Some bitcoin users exchange their currency for gift cards from service providers like eGifter, or  Giftoff, which lets you use 15 cryptocurrencies to buy gift cards from up to 177 retailers, like Dell, which is the largest retailer that accepts bitcoin in the UK, US and Canada.

Other businesses include:
  • Starbucks
  • Spotify
  • National Rail
  • Skype
  • Marks and Spencer
  • Pizza Express
  • Zara
  • CEX

Companies like Microsoft have recently started offering games and other apps for bitcoin, with a Minecraft server even using bitcoin as it’s in-game currency system, proving bitcoin is not only changing the way we spend, but even how we play and live.

The Global Impact of Bitcoin

Bitcoin gained 126.2% against the US dollar last year. This compares to a 21.7% increase for the world’s next best-performing currency, the Brazilian real.

  The Netherlands has been quick to adapt to the widespread popularity of bitcoin. Arnhem, a large city in the East of the Netherlands, has been labelled as "The world's most bitcoin-friendly city," by a local group running the arnhembitcoinstad.nl website, with the Netherlands’ best department store even accepting the bitcoin currency.

In Japan, more retailers are also staying ahead of the virtual currencies development by accepting bitcoins, with a report revealing that two of Japan’s largest retailer groups are getting ready to start accepting the currency. The POS app, AirREGI, has been even been implemented at 260,000 retail outlets and restaurants throughout the country, which allows customers to pay by simply scanning a barcode.

Cities with the Most Businesses Accepting Bitcoin:

City Number of Shops
Los Angeles 127
New York 120
Buenos Aires 111
San Francisco 108
London 86
Madrid 82
Kansas City 68
Toronto 64
Melbourne 63
Athens 52
Sao Paulo 49
Tokyo 48
Amsterdam 46
Tel Aviv 42
Zurich 35
In the future, trends in bitcoin are likely to see large casino operators and businesses integrating bitcoin, as well as more people realising that there is a way you can spend virtual money to pay for real things, that is completely safe.

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