• Michael Weeding

So you wish is for Bitcoin to disappear? Good luck with that!

Bitcoin would have to have been one of the most discussed topics within the payment space in 2013 with plenty of commentary either loving or loathing this crypto-currency. Whatever your views it seems that our thirst for new ways of making payments will means that virtual currencies will be a hot agenda item in 2014, and it has started with a bang with eBay revealing they too will be developing a virtual currency. So why all the excitement?

Technology has disrupted industries around the world and the attention focused around Bitcoin has demonstrated that the payments space is not going to be immune from large scale changes in the future. Bitcoin seems to be playing an important role in filling the void that has been left by the fact that NFC has not really taken off as expected and is a tool the change optimists are using to demonstrate to the doubters that change is really on the way.

A virtual currency such as Bitcoin has been developed to be traded. Currently the value of Bitcoin seems to be over inflated as widespread media hype have drawn in speculators in the past year although the volatility in the price that we have seen in the last month should mean that in time speculators will be replaced by consumers in the future.

Virtual currencies will not be for everyone and will not replace traditional currencies. Communities will continue to develop with consumers and merchants happy to trade using virtual currencies. As communities evolve other well established merchants will also begin accepting virtual currencies (or create their own as in the eBay’s example) as another way of accepting payments.

With lower fees than traditional credit card payments merchants who accept virtual currencies may start to offer other benefits and discounts to consumers trading virtual currencies drawing in more consumers to this type of payment.

The other point to note is that the growth in communities and efficiencies of the network will mean that new applications for Bitcoin above payments will evolve creating more value. Just as the value created around the Internet today would never have been realised in its early days of adoption.

The good news for those who do not like crypto-currencies and do not want to participate can get on with life as they usually do. Although the power of communities being drawn together across the world through technology will mean that however much anyone or any government dislikes virtual currencies such as Bitcoin it is unlikely that they will be able to make it disappear.

#Bitcoin #cryptocurrencies

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