One of the best attributes of Bitcoin is that there is no single reason that new people are flocking to the payment system on a daily basis. Some Bitcoin users are merchants who want to cut down on payment processing fees, while others are just trying to find a cheap way to send money to a relative on the other side of the globe. Although learning about all the advantages of Bitcoin can be difficult at first, there is usually at least one aspect of the technology that is attractive to every single person around the world. Although Bitcoin may not be ready for the grandparents in the family, there are already plenty of reasons to think about taking a dive into the world of cryptocurrency.
The main use case of Bitcoin from day one has been for payments that cannot be censored by any form of centralized institution. Whether it’s governments or banks, there always seems to be someone who wants to tell people what they can or cannot do with their money. Censorship-resistance is at the core of Bitcoin’s value proposition, and the currency would probably not be worth anything if it wasn’t for its ability to allow people the freedom to make their own financial decisions. One of the most prominent displays of Bitcoin’s censorship-resistant properties was when many people around the globe decided to use the cryptocurrency to send donations to Wikileaks after the organization was blacklisted by various payment providers such as Visa and PayPal.
Many of the businessmen and women in the Bitcoin space believe that international remittances could be the first killer app for the digital currency. The average cost for migrant workers to send money back home is roughly 10% of the total transaction, so a global currency that allows people to send value through the Internet for a few pennies could definitely make a case for disruption. There are already companies starting up in countries, such as Kenya and Philippines, that plan to use Bitcoin for international remittances, but we still haven’t seen the full potential for Bitcoin as a global payment system. Costs will be added to these remittances if the users decide to convert back to their local currencies on both ends of the transactions, so merchant adoption in these countries could also play a crucial role in removing even more friction from the payments space.
While the long term promise of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies may be for payments or as a currency, the reality is that most people still use it as a speculative investment right now. Bitcoins are still undervalued if you believe that the digital currency could eventually take over the entire world, and many people have been betting on that scenario for more than a couple of years. Even if Bitcoin is not that useful for you right now, it may make sense to buy into the idea of cryptocurrency if you see how this technology has the potential to disrupt many different industries over the next decade.
One of the main issues that is holding back Bitcoin’s potential as a currency is the volatility associated with the digital commodity. Some say that this volatility will never subside, but the reality is that this is a young currency that has plenty of room to grow. When you look at the various applications for Bitcoin that can be used to lower transaction costs, decentralize the world of finance, and bring more privacy to users, it should be no wonder as to why so many people are taking a long term gamble on the cryptocurrency. There are plenty of people trying to day trade bitcoins and other altcoins too, but it makes sense for most people to simply buy and hold if they think that cryptocurrencies could be here to stay.