The popularity of Bitcoin continues to puzzle mainstream consumers and media outlets. What was once seen as a form of payment only designed for the Internet quickly turned into an asset and an investment vehicle. However, there is more to cryptocurrency, as it also highlights the state of the current global economy.
Bitcoin is Gaining Momentum Despite Growing Pains
One thing to keep in mind is how different countries label Bitcoin in their own ways. Russia recently put Bitcoin on the same level as foreign currencies, whereas most other regions have no official “label” for cryptocurrencyas of yet. It will take a few more years before the legality of Bitcoin is defined around the globe.
Even though Bitcoin has seen a nice boost in value throughout 2016, the public perception has not changed all that much. According to most people, Bitcoin remains a “niche currency with no mainstream appeal or implications.” A rather strong sentiment, but one that cannot be ignored either. The number of daily Bitcoin transactions increases every quarter, but the amount is still minuscule in comparison to traditional payment solutions such as Visa or Mastercard.
Practical use cases for Bitcoin are another hurdle to overcome. In some countries, one can use cryptocurrency to top up mobile credit, pay bills, or order food online. Most people flock to Bitcoin to bypass financial restrictions, or as an investment vehicle. In this regard, Bitcoin is on the same level as gold, which is a popular asset that is not all that useful in the real world.
While Bitcoin’s limited use case isn’t quite an advantage, the currency itself is evolving in the right direction. Bitcoin’s success is no longer dependent on solving problems for countries dealing with capital restrictions. It is one of the only true safe haven investments, which is a major reason why speculators have been driving up the price for most of 2016. Moreover, the growing global political turmoil is only fueling the demand for such assets in recent months.
To put this into perspective, Bitcoin has seen its share of costly glitches, scams, and platforms being hacked. However, the protocol itself has never been breached, and Bitcoin is anything but a currency only used by criminals. Bitcoin is not biased or part of any particular system, it is a currency that can be used by anyone and everyone. Unlike other currencies or assets, Bitcoin does not discriminate by limited accessibility.
What is rather interesting is how regulators no longer seem to be opposed to Bitcoin. More importantly, none of the external threats traditional currencies are faced with are seeming to affect Bitcoin’s value all that much. People tend to forget Bitcoin has only been around for eight years, and is still a very young currency. It is only natural that growing pains will need to be addressed in the coming years, but the future is looking brighter than ever before.
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