Is Bitcoin Actually Useful?

It’s hard to look at trending investments in 2018 without seeing news about bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Increasingly viewed as commodities, these digital currencies made serious waves in 2017. Bitcoin nearly hit $20,000 in value, undoubtedly allowing a lot of early investors to cash out with serious gains. And though it has since declined fairly significantly, the 2017 surge is still on people’s minds. Everyone from amateur investors to serious hedge fund managers is at least keeping an eye on the crypto markets.

Is Bitcoin Actually Useful? - Bitcoin image

The question we have at this point, and the one anyone dabbling in cryptocurrency ought to think about, is whether it’s actually useful. Bitcoin was originally designed as an alternative currency, meant to take over as a secure, anonymous means of conducting basic transactions. This hasn’t happened yet, and in fact we’re nowhere near that point. But there are some ways in which bitcoin can be useful.

Online Retail Shopping

The slowest area for bitcoin adoption has been in-person retail. While there are certainly brick-and-mortar restaurants, coffee shops, and stores that will accept bitcoin payments in person, they tend to be few and far between, and you almost have to go out of your way to make use of them. Online, however, some of the biggest retailers in operation have begun to accept crypto payments. Overstock, eGifter, Shopify, and numerous travel-related platforms (like Expedia and CheapAir) are among those usually included on the list.

Bitcoin Debit Cards

This can almost seem a little bit unnecessary, but if you’re someone who’s determined to make practical use of bitcoin and you don’t have enough opportunities to do so, you can actually load up a debit card with cryptocurrency. It then functions just like any other debit card (meaning you can use it just about anywhere), but instead of being backed by a checking account, it’s simply loaded up with a dollar value backed by your bitcoin.

Gaming & Betting

There’s actually a lot of competition between online gaming and betting platforms as they attempt to find different ways to appeal to players. There are several factors that must be considered when choosing a platform to engage in real money gaming activity with, and increasingly one such factor is payment methods. Many people prefer more secure and anonymous means of making deposits, and for this reason more and more of these sites are accepting bitcoin payments. In fact, some online casino platforms now exclusively take bitcoin.

Short Term Potential

This won’t help you today or tomorrow, but it’s also worth noting that bitcoin advocates haven’t given up on its potential to replace ordinary currency. Only a few months ago a man who’s already made millions in bitcoin predicted that it will replace fiat currency in five years’ time. That may be a little bit optimistic, but there’s an argument to be made for exploring cryptocurrency now because it’s probably going to get at least somewhat more useful in day-to-day transactions.

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