Bitcoin has been the buzz word in the market for at least a year now as the digital currency continues to make waves (both large and small). There are some pessimistic or hesitant opinions out there about whether or not the currency has what it takes to become a fully functioning and practical alternative to conventional hard currency. However, with the increasingly fast rate at which large public companies are starting to accept payments in the form of Bitcoin, it is beginning to seem like the digital currency is here to stay.
Some argue that Bitcoin is the new gold. Both are used as safe alternatives to centralized currencies for storing assets. However, while gold has depreciated about 2% [http://www.cnbc.com/id/101750703 ] in the past month, Bitcoin has been experiencing an overall growth in its value (despite the wild fluctuations for which it is currently famous). Since April, the digital currency has skyrocketed more than 80% [http://www.cnbc.com/id/101728070 ] amid a flood of good press as well as wider acceptance and awareness.
In addition to their precious metal mining claims,
The expansion into Bitcoin is a strong indicator of the versatility of
Apple has changed its stringent policy against Bitcoin and other crypto currencies by finally allowing [http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/jun/03/apple-bitcoin-payments-ipad-iphone ] apps which perform transactions using them to be downloaded onto iPhones and iPads. The move from this technology giant is perhaps one of the biggest signals of Bitcoin's rising success as a viable currency.
Many big names in retail-such as
Bitcoin Mining, Payment and Exchange Startups
The increasing number of companies accepting Bitcoin has sparked a flood of investments from venture capitalists amounting to more than
A host of startups are appearing all over the place which plan to make payments using Bitcoin much easier both online and in brick and mortar stores. Young companies like BitPay and SnapCard are developing products and services which will make Bitcoin a practical currency for consumers to use in their everyday shopping. SnapCard, for example, has even claimed that users will be able to pay their taxes using the cryptocurrency.
Newnote Financial Corp (FRA: DE: 1W4), another young startup and pioneer in cryptocurrency and Bitcoin software has seen a lot of success with its cloud hashing services. In the past month alone, the company has earned an estimated
The Problem of Instability
One threat which continues to loom over any company or investor getting involved in Bitcoin is the dramatic fluctuations in value. As the digital currency struggles to establish itself as a viable currency, its value continues to skyrocket upward and then plummet downward in a wildly unpredictable trend.
This makes Bitcoin an extremely high risk currency for investors getting in before the currency has been fully adopted. Although Bitcoin use is higher [http://seekingalpha.com/article/2030051-bitcoin-shop-the-latest-growth-opportunity-in-the-cryptocurrency-world ] than it has ever been, this does not guarantee that it will endure and become a mainstream currency. This is largely due to the many concerns both consumers, merchants, and governments have regarding the new cryptocurrency.
Some companies have come up with effective strategies to deal with this uncertainty. For example,
The independently operating subsidiary,
It is difficult to make a prediction one way or the other when it comes to Bitcoin. It is notoriously volatile and famous for its overnight hikes and drops. However, one could tentatively stay that, despite the wild fluctuations, the digital currency has moved steadily in the direction of increased acceptance and broader awareness meaning that it is on the path toward becoming a viable currency even if it is at the beginning of this path. In any case, it is no longer something
With that in mind, companies like
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