Bringing Bitcoin to mainstream consumers has proven to be quite the struggle over the past few years, as most people don’t see the value in using digital currency over traditional payment methods. As Bitcoin is slowly maturing – and new projects and integrations are starting to roll out – the general attitude towards Bitcoin is slowly starting to change. The “killer app” for Bitcoin hasn’t been found just yet, but we are getting closer every month.
Also read: 2015 Proves Bitcoin Is Here To Stay
Finding The Right Bitcoin Use Case For Everyday Consumers
For nearly seven years now, Bitcoin has been somewhat of a mysterious niche project that had the allure of being inaccessible to everyday consumers. Transparent public ledger technology combined with global payments is not something people on the street are too worried about these days, nor do they see the need for alternative payment methods just yet.
That situation has come to change in recent months, though, as more and more use cases are being discovered consumers can relate to. For example, when Fold launched their application to get a 20% discount at Starbucks, a lot of people saw the light of day as far as Bitcoin was concerned. Even though the launch of this use case was fairly restricted, many Bitcoin enthusiasts enjoyed their discounts.
But that is not the only factor that has made Bitcoin more approachable for everyday consumers. Various books have been published on the topic of Bitcoin and digital currencies, giving people valuable insights into this new and exciting world. Even though a book might not be the best representation of Bitcoin, the format goes to show that this is not just another flash in the pan.
Speaking of getting Bitcoin on the minds of people, initiatives such as BitFilm Festival, as well as various Bitcoin documentaries, create a visual representation of what makes digital currency tick. Regardless of whether somebody has a tech-savvy background or not, visual media is something everybody can understand, and Bitcoin benefits from this medium.
Understanding the concept of the Bitcoin network is general has been a huge challenge for a lot of people as well. Terminology such as mining and Bitcoin Nodes can be confusing, but a solution has been found for that as well. Anyone in the world can now operate a plug-and-play Bitcoin Node, thanks to 21 Inc. Also, the recent efforts by Chris Ellis gave the world video material on how to build a Bitcoin Node themselves, without having to invest a ton of money.
The Only Limitation Is Our Imagination
Truth be told, there is nothing that can’t be done with Bitcoin or its underlying blockchain technology. Any type of project can be built on top of the blockchain, with or without using Bitcoin as a currency to pay for goods and services. Various projects are in development as we speak, and as Craig Sellars recently stated, he’s building “whatever you can imagine on a magic ledger.”
On the consumer front, things are not stagnating either. Just a few days ago, popular online shopping service Purse.io announced their new project, called Tritium. Bitcoin can be of great value in the e-commerce and m-commerce sectors, and Tritium will be designed to bring more value to both merchants and consumers.
Just a few years ago, no one would have considered how the food ordering industry would be revolutionized in such a spectacular way. Mycelium Swish is connecting Bitcoin to this market segment by letting consumers order food from a billboard containing a valid QR code. Simply pay for the order in Bitcoin, and pick up the food from the restaurant.
Even government officials are slowly warming up to the idea of Bitcoin and digital currency. Mauricio Macri, who was recently elected as new President of Argentina, is open to the idea of using Bitcoin and its technology at some point. Additionally, Ukraine’s national bank confirmed their interest in integrating Bitcoin sooner rather than later.
There are still some kinks to work out when it comes to fully understanding Bitcoin and blockchain technology. Most of these kinks exist on a psychological level, as very few consumers have given the concept of money a second thought as of late. Slowly but surely, people realize there is an alternative form of financial tools in existence, and there is no better time than now to become part of the Bitcoin community.
What are your thoughts on the progress Bitcoin has made in recent years? Are you excited for 2016? Let us know in the comments below!
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