Everyone’s heard about Bitcoin (BTC) in the modern era. Barely a few days can pass before BTC hits the worldwide news for another huge climb or dip and the excitement is palpable across the internet every time another long-dormant wallet reactivates or dumps its entire contents into the aether.
With the price of each coin now safely hovering above the $80kAUS mark, many are asking if the price can really keep rising or if the coin is really worth a small fortune just to own a single one. Personally, I have been wondering if BTC will be able to cement itself as one of the major world currencies – a question I will now discuss.
What is Currency?
Before we can assess the viability of BTC as a currency, we first need to establish exactly what a currency is. Traditionally, currencies are created and backed by a government to be used as the de-facto method of trading goods fairly without having to resort to the bartering methods of previous civilizations.
Currencies, therefore, gain their usefulness and worth from the strength of a nation’s economy and what natural resources or skillsets that nation can offer to other nations. As you may already be thinking, BTC can’t really fit into this definition of currency, as it inherently lacks any sort of government or consistent userbase to give it this value.
A New Form of Payment
Despite the above, BTC is still a form of currency, as it is used to trade goods for equal value, it simply goes against the grain of any usual currency out there. Much like pre-industrial currencies, BTC gains its worth both from the form the currency takes and the many unique uses the coin has, making it one of the purest forms of currency there is.
BTC transactions are anonymous and extremely secure, using blockchain technology to allow both transparency and security throughout the entire system by crowdsourcing all the jobs a bank would handle with a traditional form of currency.
BTC can essentially be used for anything – it is currency after all! Much like those Euros on your dresser, the only stipulation is that you have to find someone who will take it in exchange for goods and services.
Luckily, a lot of businesses are quickly becoming aware of the money that can be made in hoarding crypto, and many companies will now offer discounts for anything from technology to fast-food deliveries, providing the user pays in BTC (or other coins such as ETH).
Nations Want Your BTC!
Many nations in Europe and the Americas are also starting to actively encourage citizens to get involved with Bitcoin, with many local and national businesses allowing payment with cryptocurrency and governments actively incorporating it into their infrastructure.
While it isn’t so easy to spend bitcoin in Australia, the government has started to install publicly available Cryptocurrency ATMs around the more populated cities in the country, and the Australian government was one of the first Western administrations to adopt and back its own crypto coin for citizens to use.
A fantastic feature of BTC is that, inherent in the fact that it is without any government backing, it can be used for international payments without any conversion fees or confusion between users. Since every transaction is treated completely equally, BTC transactions will also be a lot quicker than overseas bank transfers which must be verified by international banks.
While all this seems positive for BTC growing into a widely adopted currency, there are still a few issues keeping it from its full potential. One of the huge ones on peoples’ minds the last few months is the blanket ban China has brought on the use of Cryptocurrency – an event that crashed the entire market for a few months.
On top of this, BTC is still heavily associated with the black market, deep-web trades it anonymously allows. It could take a long time for the public to realize that there are more uses for crypto than to buy drugs and weaponry, but it is sure to happen someday soon. Remember, the world’s current top currency used for illicit purchases is the US dollar – the most widely used and respected currency in the world!