Bitcoin. Cryptocurrency. With every threshold conquered by bitcoin compared to US dollar, it brings new adepts and users to the new cryptocurrency that only exists as a series of bits on a device or network.
We already do most – if not all – of our payments online or using a credit card, so the jump from that to a currency that only exists in a virtual world is a small step.
Bitcoin has two characteristics that make it “special”:
- Fixed Total Amount
There is a pre-determined fixed amount of total bitcoin. About 21 million bitcoin when the entire bitcoin would have been “mined’, now over 72% of it being in circulation.
For a currency – or cryptocurrency – that’s a bad thing, especially if the total amount isn’t that huge. If there is a market for bitcoin and a price for it – and there are – and someone or a group can control the majority of the existing bitcoin – and they can – they can control the entire market, as small as it is.
Every bitcoin address is anonymous, meaning it’s not linked to a person, to an organization or company in any way. Which means it is a preferred payment method by people who would rather stay anonymous.
Most payment processors and e-wallets who include bitcoin as a payment option will link these transactions to you, so they are no longer anonymous, but the model itself permits complete anonymous transfers.
Bitcoin is almost the single representative of the cryptocurrency world which created enough traction already. Yet, the sales of one large retailer in Romania in 2015 were over 65x more than the entire bicoin mass in circulation right now world-wide (funny how I used the word “mass” for an entity without mass).
Which means bitcoin and cryptocurrency is (and will be) a small niche for payments, and that’s noticeable if we don’t use a close-up view.
The cryptocurrency experiment may lead somewhere, I don’t know. I doubt that it will be with what is currently in the market, bitcoin included.
In the meantime, some people make money, and some lose money using cryptocurrency.
Not particularly related to the cryptocurrency topic, I remember there was almost an axiom that circulated (maybe still does), stated by wealthy people: “Don’t ask me how I made my first million!“. If we look at advertising (or at marketing webinars and presentations these days) I think that axiom should be “Let me tell you how I made my first million (and how you can too)!“. Are we evolving? Or just marketing is?