Ever since Bitcoin was released as open-source software in 2009, it’s been held up as being the revolutionary cryptocurrency that’s going to overthrow the tyranny of big banks, multinational corporations, and government institutions. But whilst March 2017 was a landmark month for the cryptocurrency as it was the first time that a single Bitcoin became more valuable than an ounce of gold, it is still viewed with suspicion by many individuals and businesses. So what are the reasons holding up the more widespread use of Bitcoin?
Since Bitcoin operates as a decentralized currency away from the controls of banks and governments, it’s often been the victim of negative press. Whilst articles from Vice that aim to show how it can be used for relatively normal purposes may be well-meaning, they still tend to feature the cryptocurrency against a backdrop of black market mechanisms.
It’s this perception that Bitcoin is primarily used on the Dark Web that compounds the perception that it is mainly used for drug trafficking and the sex trade, and until that changes, the Bitcoin symbol is unlikely to appear on our supermarket checkouts.
2016 was a year where the majority of the world’s currencies had a fairly unstable time. But such jitters are nothing compared to the renowned volatility of Bitcoin, and whilst this can create impressive speculative opportunities, it makes it less attractive for businesses.
Although over 100,000 merchants from Microsoft to Expedia facilitate Bitcoin transactions, these examples aren’t the norm. With UK casino gaming sites like LadyLucks preferring to use tried and tested payment systems such as PayPal, Visa and MasterCard, it shows how far Bitcoin has to go. But with other gaming providers like Steam starting to accept Bitcoin, it shows that the situation could be changing.
Most of the times that Bitcoin comes to the attention of the mainstream press, is when it get hits by a hacking scandal. Just last summer, Bloomberg reported how hackers stole $65 million of the cryptocurrency through a security breach at the Hong Kong-based exchange, Bitfinex.
Although all digital currencies can be prone to hacking activity, it seems that Bitcoin has been repeatedly targeted by cybercriminals. And with The Verge posting articles boasting about how easy it is to override Bitcoin’s security, it seems like the cryptocurrency is seen as something of a soft target.
But with even fast food outlets like Subway joining the Bitcoin community, it could be only a matter of time before more online retailers and UK casinos join the cryptocurrency revolution.
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