Retailers Expand Bitcoin Payments Despite Volatility
The retail industry has always been the grand prize for the bitcoin market to be able to operate in. Being able to walk into a store and have them accept a bitcoin payment is something that, despite the slump in the market and high volatility, is causing cryptocurrency to be more universally accepted as a global currency.
Most recently, the company Newegg, a computer parts and building website that added bitcoin to their list of payment methods in 2014, have decided to expand the same bitcoin acceptance to Canadian markets as well. This has caused an increase in trading volume coming from Canada.
Other companies that have adopted bitcoin payments include Overstock, Expedia, Gyft, Dish Satellite, and CheapAir; all of which can be used with purely bitcoin payments. Other companies have been a little more hesitant to adopt the cryptocurrency as a viable method of payment. Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz has stated before that he thinks bitcoin, or a cryptocurrency like it, will one day soon be used as a payment in any of the brick and mortar locations.
However, Schultz is skeptical of bitcoin’s ability to handle the transaction volume that would be required if it was added to their payment options. Since payments would have to be processed through a payment processor like BitPay, it might not be able to keep up with the sheer number of global transactions happening in Starbucks locations. Schultz has also stated that while it is ambitious and optimistic to think that cryptocurrency could compete evenly with cash in a global economy, bitcoin itself is not exactly the fully realized version of such a coin.
“I personally believe that there is going to be one or a few legitimate trusted digital currencies off of the blockchain technology. And that legitimacy and trust in terms of its consumer application will have to be legitimized by a brand and a brick and mortar environment, where the consumer has trust and confidence in the company that is providing the transaction.”
As more companies offer bitcoin payments and other cryptocurrency investment products are launched, the market will regain some semblance of a stable appreciation. Currently, the market is far too volatile to be a viable long-term solution for retail crypto-payments. Still, like we have seen many times before in the market, there will be a coin that rises to fill the gap left by shortcomings of bitcoin and other developing cryptocurrencies.
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