One of the main concerns about Bitcoin is whether or not the digital currency is getting mainstream traction. Even though Bitcoin has only been around for little over six years, it seems like its infantile stage is a thing of the past. However, that is not a guarantee for mainstream adoption in the near future.
Up until a few months ago, most people looked at bitcoin from an investment point of view, rather than considering it as a payment option for everyday use. But it seems as if this paradigm has slowly shifted, thanks to a pretty successful year for Bitcoin in 2014. A recent Coupofy infographic tells us a lot of things, some of which we already knew, but some newsworthy facts as well.
The year 2014 was marked with some of the world’s leading retailers accepting Bitcoin payments, even though most of them only accept BTC for US customers. Companies such as Expedia, Microsoft, Dell, and Overstock.com are on that list, joined by the American Red Cross, Newegg, and Wikipedia. But what about Airbaltic, Reeds, and Destinia.com? Those names are hardly ever mentioned, even though they all accept Bitcoin. At the end of December 2014, a total of 100,00 merchants were accepting BTC payments for their goods and services.
We all know that, despite the rise in the number of Bitcoin transactions, combined with the increase in the total transaction value processed by BitPay, the average order value has gone down. Some financial experts view this as people losing interesting in Bitcoin as a currency. Nothing could be farther from the truth, though, as the lower average order value is a strong indication of how Bitcoin adoption increases and more people use it as a payment method, rather than an investment commodity.
What Has Changed In 2015 So Far?
Infographics are a great tool to gain valuable insights, assuming they can offer some form of new knowledge. The Coupofy infographic contains some information regarding interesting Bitcoin trends during 2015 so far. However, there are still over five months left in the year, and anything could happen.
The number of Bitcoin transactions keeps rising, which is positive news for the Bitcoin network in general. What is more important is that the milestone of 100,000 daily transactions excluding popular Bitcoin addresses was reached in February of this year. There is only a marginal difference between the total amount of transactions compared to the number without popular addresses, but it’s still a very noteworthy feat. Especially when you consider the number of total transactions excluding popular addresses was at 60,000 per day back in April of 2014.
But what everyone is really is interested in is finding out where the next Bitcoin boom will come from. Several emerging countries are flocking to Bitcoin as a way to circumvent hyperinflationary fiat currencies and oppressive regimes. From the BitPay statistics we received, — related to Q1 2015 — Brazil is the frontrunner with a 406% sign up growth compared to Q4 2014. Both India (212%) and Indonesia (199%) have been vying for that second spot. But then again, this list may look completely different when the numbers for Q2 2015 are revealed.
What Is Next for Bitcoin?
Which brings us to the big question: what is next for Bitcoin? In terms of merchants, there should be a strong focus on pushing Bitcoin as a payment method for educational efforts, healthcare, and other basic human needs. That first category could especially benefit from Bitcoin adoption, as it will incentivize more students to read up on the digital currency, which will in turn help grow the Bitcoin community.
Other than that, a strong focus should be put on educating the everyday consumer on Bitcoin, its benefits, and why people should be worried about the current financial infrastructure. Even though Bitcoin has overtaken services such as Xoom and Western Union in terms of daily transaction volume — in USD — these numbers do not translate to shopping and e-commerce by any means. And that it not to blame on a lack of merchants accepting Bitcoin payments, but rather on the majority of everyday consumers not being educated properly on Bitcoin and digital currency.
What are your Bitcoin predictions for 2015 in terms of emerging markets and consumer adoption? Let us know in the comments below!
Source: Coupofy Infographic
Images: Coupofy, BitPay, Shutterstock
The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those of Bitcoin.com.