Bitcoin has grown steadily since its launch, in fact over such a short period of time from startup to today it is actually a remarkable transition. However, there have always been issues that prevented the wider use of Bitcoin or any other digital currency, and that is how complex it could be to obtain the currency to begin with, and the restricted use of it once you have some. Until Bitcoin can be bought and spent easily, there will always be an issue for new adopters and it will always hold back the growth of the digital currency idea. Have recent innovations changed this?
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In the push for wider exposure and adoption digital currencies have found themselves facing a major hurdle when it comes to the general public. The provision of high quality information and a good amount of publicity on the concept of digital currencies, particularly bitcoin, has resulted in a level of trust that means it is no longer a barrier to entry for a large number of potential users. However, one area where there has always been issues for potential new users is the point of entry and exit. That is, it has always been more difficult to buy Bitcoin or other digital currencies than people wanted it to be, and in tandem with this, spending Bitcoin has itself been overly complicated as well, requiring conversion to fiat currency that has never been intuitive for new users. However, with more and more exchanges and other industry organizations finding ways to overcome these challenges, have we reached the point where they are no longer an issue?
Spending Bitcoin has been the focus of several initiatives, but for the industry the adoption of payment cards that allow withdrawal of Bitcoin wallet funds directly onto a card that can be used in ATM machines and in store payments just like any other Visa/MasterCard bank card has been the turning point. Fast, automatic conversion during the loading process for the card has made spending Bitcoin anywhere a painless and very easy process now. The more organizations that adopt the approach the more the user base will become used to the idea. While the ultimate solution will be for Bitcoin to be as widely accepted as fiat money, this is not a likely outcome in the near future and as such, while compromised, the payment card solution really does make accessing Bitcoin funds as easy as possible.
Purchasing digital currency has taken a similar leap forward with in store facilities to buy Bitcoin over the counter. Requiring ID and purchase limits, as the current schemes have, do spate cryptocurrencies from the fiat system, however in terms of compromise it is a minor adjustment.
Does this mean those major challenges are now overcome? Partially, enough for many to be able to adopt usage of digital currencies that would have before been put off, and it is certainly a major step forward in what is a relatively short time period. The industry needs to build on this to generate awareness of how easy it can be to buy and use digital currencies now however, to maximize the effect.