One of the stories of 2017, most likely the defining story of 2017, was the rise of Bitcoin. Seen as the original cryptocurrency, Bitcoin’s price rose from under $1000 all the way past $14,000 by the end of the year. The meteoric rise saw Bitcoin increase in value by more than 1300 percent.
Despite the talk of a bubble, Bitcoin kept on climbing. It’s currently sitting at around $7,000, which still marks a remarkable rise since the start of 2017. 2018 hasn’t been as impressive, but compared to the first eight years since its inception, it can be seen that Bitcoin is a much stronger entity these days.
As of right now, though, it is the blockchain technology behind Bitcoin that has been of particular interest and, down the line, maybe the element which makes the biggest difference in this world. Blockchains look to be the future of businesses, not just financials only.
According to Coin Desk, all forms of valuable information can be tracked in the decentralized manner presented by the blockchain technology, which is, in practice, a type of digital ledger. It’s the incredible potential that blockchains have that has really earned Bitcoin global acclaim.
Nevertheless, Bitcoin’s immense rise in popularity, and with the crypto-revolution looking to be in full swing, people have been looking to extend the cryptocurrency’s reach. It was created as a superior peer-to-peer payment system, with many places now accepting Bitcoin as a payment method.
One way that companies are trying to extend the range beyond digital payments is by creating more and easier physical payment methods for Bitcoin, which would bring in brick-and-mortar establishments as viable places to pay for goods and services with Bitcoin.
Bitcoin becoming an increasingly viable option
In most of the world, it hasn’t become what we know as the mainstream just yet, but there are enough interests and money held in Bitcoin that it has become a viable option.
Because it offers the secure transfer of data and value, is an independent self-regulated mechanism, and is easy to access, some people see it as a superior payment system to the regular paper and coin money system used all over the world today.
There are many online vendors which offer Bitcoin as a payment method, including the likes of Expedia and Microsoft. But it’s not just the online community which is embracing cryptocurrency. According to the findings of Betway Casino, Las Vegas is moving towards Bitcoin payments.
The land-based casinos of Las Vegas are world-renowned and some do cater for Bitcoin payments for services such as hotels and food. However, the casino-floor activities of Las Vegas do not allow for the use of Bitcoin due to concerns that may occur from Nevada gaming regulators.
However, if there was a way for Bitcoin to become a physical item, it could open up many more opportunities, such as payments in brick-and-mortar stores, or gaming at land-based casinos. Well, that future may be on the horizon.
Physical Bitcoin to bring attention back to where it belongs
The sudden and remarkable rise in the value of Bitcoin in 2017 and the early weeks of 2018 made it more into an investment opportunity as opposed to being a real means of tender.
But, that is to be expected of anything that shoots up from $1061 on March 27 to $4672 on August 28 and then $17,549 by December 11.
Nevertheless, Bitcoin started as a cryptocurrency and can still be the flagship for cryptocurrency on the rising tide of digital payments. As explained by Coin Telegraph, the potential for Bitcoin to work as a legitimate payment system that could revolutionize money has faded in recent times. But, over in Singapore, a company called Tangem is trying to right the ship.
Tangem has created the first physical manifestation of digital assets with their smart banknotes. These notes are available for purchase right now and are enforced by a special chip which allows the notes to carry cryptocurrencies. According to Medium, the Tangem bank notes allow for brick-and-mortar transactions simply by handing them over.
The bank notes are anonymous, instant, without any charges or fees, and are truly decentralized. So, it appears as though it is the perfect physical product to carry a cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin. On top of this, having something physical to pass over will certainly help to get more vendors on the crypto-bandwagon, given the misunderstandings that most likely still swirl around the heads of many business owners when it comes to digital currencies.
While the owners of Bitcoin, particularly those who got in early and before the meteoric rise in 2017, will be very happy with their investments, the true potential of Bitcoin is yet to be seen. Blockchains are readying the future, but the real purpose behind Bitcoin did seem to get forgotten as we entered 2018.
Now, with the Tangem bank notes providing a viable and physical method of paying with Bitcoin in some land-based stores in Singapore, it may not be long before the rest of the world catches on and allows for something similar. It’s hard to say if cryptocurrency will be able to replace the money that we’re all accustomed to, but forming a physical manifestation is certainly a step in that direction, and it will certainly get more people involved.
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