We see a trend, as the world learns more about bitcoin, more businesses and individuals are choosing to adopt it. Why is this the case? What about this cryto-currency is so attractive to so many as a medium of exchange? The answer to these questions vary, while more and more are opting out of using credit cards, cash, and other electronic payment forms, and opting-in to using bitcoin.
The following are seven aspects of bitcoin that make it an attractive and apparently viable alternative for many people around the planet.
Bitcoin has a greater level of anonymity than most other popular forms of electronic currency transactions or exchange. It can be exchanged in a matter of moments without having to disclose your identity to the seller or anyone else. Yet, it is important to keep in mind, it is not completely anonymous. There is a considerable public ledger used to record bitcoin transactions, known as the “block chain”. Yet, the identities of users are kept private and hidden behind a long chain of numbers and letters, which make up a bitcoin wallet address.
Your bitcoin wallet address is like an assumed name, nickname, or pseudonym. All of your transactions are kept anonymous, as long as you keep your real identity kept from the eyes of others or hidden. Because of this, anyone who wants to improve or strengthen one’s privacy and anonymity can consider utilizing a different wallet address for each transaction.
Want to send or receive money instantly? Bitcoin make it possible to do this from anywhere, to anywhere in world, no matter what the amount, taking place in only a matter of a few seconds to a couple of minutes for verification. Bitcoin is accepted worldwide, so there is no need to worry about currency exchange rates. And, since there is no bank acting as an middle man, it does not matter when the transaction takes place, any time day or night.
Lower Transaction Costs
Taking out the third-parties, like banks or merchant services providers, bitcoin is peer-to-peer, and there are no inherent transaction fees. The only fees you will typically experience are when you convert currency into bitcoin or converting bitcoin to currency. In some cases, there might be miscellaneous fees for priority processing by users, and some bitcoin service providers might have additional fees for particular conveniences. Even in these instances though, associated fees are much lower than what we currently see from merchant services providers (including Paypal).
Bitcoin initially was created to be divisible up to eight decimal places. What does this mean? It means that even if a bitcoin was worth 100,000 U.S. dollars, a person could still transfer any given amount, even one cent. This allows for recurring payment options, micro-funding, and other possibilities that never existed before bitcoin.
Easy to Hide
No matter the amount, bitcoin easily can be hidden, unlike most other large amounts of cash or other material assets, like gold, silver or other precious metals. One bitcoin takes up just as much physical space as a thousand bitcoins, as it is a virtual currency. In the United States with it’s growing trend of asset forfeiture, this is becoming more and more important to Americans. Even without due process in the US, law enforcement in many states are now authorized, to confiscate your property, even if you are only suspected of being involved in some type of criminal activity. Technically, there is nothing illegal about transporting large amounts of cash, but it has always been a risky undertaking. If it is seizure by government or theft by criminals, bitcoin becomes an ideal way to transport large amounts of money.
Bitcoin transactions do not expose the user’s personal information or sensitive data. They are also irreversible, which is attractive to merchants, as it protects them from chargebacks and fraud. Businesses can expand into new markets where other forms of transactions, like credit cards, are not widely available, as there is no need for the middle man or third-party merchants.
Are bitcoin wallets secure? Yes. Through the use of double authentication and passwords that re designed to be non-hackable, people are easily securing their wallets. As long as the password(s) are inaccessible to others, bitcoin is one of the most secure methods of storing wealth.
There is no one person, company, or government that is in control of bitcoin. No central bank to inflate or control the supply of bitcoin. It is readily available on the block chain and easily verified by anyone at any time. Many people around the world believe it is a more secure, trustworthy, and predictable currency than any paper currency now used by so many as a medium of exchange.
The Bottom Line
As the first truly virtual currency, bitcoin has been adopted broadly around the world. None of us know the what the future holds for bitcoin (or other cryto-currencies), but we do know it’s anonymous, private, and security will remain a primary aspect of its design and implementation, which will continue to be an important aspect on the minds of so many. It’s a new and exciting development in the world, and hopefully this article has help business, investors, and consumers alike move forward in a more informed manner, with what could be the money of the future.