Bitcoin and virtual currencies in general can soon become a real means of daily payment, as they are no longer just a speculative investment, but a number of negatives may frustrate optimists about the future of that currency.
Writer Hakima Bonmoura says, in a report published in the French newspaper "20Minutes", that the price of Bitcoin has never reached this level, as the price of this virtual currency reached about 54 thousand dollars.
Since the beginning of the year, not a week has passed without talking about the price of this cryptocurrency, which is causing panic in stock exchanges around the world, but we often forget that Bitcoin is basically a currency, and therefore it is used in exchanges and transactions, and not only in (the halls of) the dark web.
Many analysts from JPMorgan Chase who specialize in cryptocurrencies have noted that with the multiplicity of virtual currencies, and the traditional currencies passing through a period of crisis, the confirmation of Bitcoin's popularization on an economic level has begun.
Many now believe that Bitcoin, the virtual currency, may soon impose itself and become a true means of everyday payment.
In recent years, the means to buy bitcoins have multiplied, and as a sign of increased confidence in the currency, the online payment giant PayPal launched a cryptocurrency buying, selling and payment service last October.
Consequently, the 346 million active PayPal account holders will soon be able to make purchases with Bitcoin, which will triple the potential number of cryptocurrency users.
This decision - which was taken by the online payments platform - sparked a real enthusiasm in the markets, and many investment funds bought Bitcoin, and today many banks online offer their customers the option to put their savings there.
"Many factors are helping to popularize Bitcoin as a means of payment," says Matteo Bouvard, a professor of finance at Toulouse College of Management and Economics, who specializes in cryptocurrencies, referring to an announcement by Tesla last week, and announcements by "Visa" or International Mastercard, which will all create a bank card that allows purchases by Bitcoin, in addition to the "Square" payment services company advertisements, which means that the cryptocurrency will gradually impose itself as the currency of payment.
Bouffard adds that the primary goal of Bitcoin's creators is to make it a peer-to-peer trading currency, and not to rely on traditional banks.
According to the analysis of the Belgian economic journalist Gilles Costeo, if Tesla made it possible to buy one of its car models in Bitcoin, this step "could make things develop further."
The academic, who has been collecting data for a few years, explains that many merchants, such as Dell, Microsoft and Expedia, already accept Bitcoin payments, and the list is growing day by day. .
The means of buying Bitcoin has doubled in the last period, and some companies have launched a cryptocurrency payment service (The Associated Press)
Facilitate international payments
Another important announcement was made by Jack Dorsey, President of Twitter, who announced last Friday the establishment of an institution to finance the development of Bitcoin as an Internet currency. Thus, the founder of the company also engaged in payment activities in cryptocurrency, just like the rival Facebook, which is about to issue its own virtual currency. Deem (formerly Libra).
"Facebook has more than 2 billion users, which is a huge funding force, and here again, the potential for generalization appears uneven," Bouvard notes.
But what is the real benefit?
Bouvard mentions that the first goal revolves around promoting and facilitating international payments. It is a relatively anonymous payment method that can reach people around, and Bitcoin payments can greatly facilitate the financial operations of the diaspora of immigrants who now have to go through companies such as Western Union "to transfer money to their countries of origin," he said, "solutions are currently available to transfer these funds, which represent huge financial flows, slow and expensive, and the popularization of the use of Bitcoin may be a real alternative."
Are there downsides?
The writer returns in her report to the newspaper saying that if (Bitcoin) becomes a means of payment and is widely used, there will be a set of negatives, as most cryptocurrency specialists have explained, "This currency is still very volatile at the present time, which is a problem. For a merchant who sells a product, the situation will be very difficult if the price of the currency in use changes constantly, and it loses, for example, 20% of its value overnight, and this seller will pay the risk every time he accepts payment in Bitcoin, "as Bouvard explains.
According to Bouvard, for stable currencies, which are virtual currencies supported by a paper currency such as the dollar or the euro, or another cryptocurrency or raw materials that are traded on the stock exchange such as DEEM, this volatility will be very limited, which avoids price fluctuations. Type of currency daily, and it will have an intrinsic value. "
"In the future, global stable currencies can be used in a wider area, and we expect that a large part of the population will decide to keep their savings and make their purchases using these stable global currencies," confirmed Christian Pfister, deputy general manager of the General Department of Statistics at the Bank of France.
Another loophole will appear if Bitcoin becomes a means of payment, and it is the system architecture that makes transactions very slow, as Bouffard points out that “the Bitcoin network can process about 7 or 8 transactions per second today, while Visa can process up to 20 thousand transactions per second, It would not make sense to pay for your coffee in Bitcoin if you had to wait 30 minutes for the transaction to be confirmed. "
Nevertheless, Bouffard says, “Technologies like Lightning are now trying to solve these technical difficulties. At the moment, this is a major obstacle, and with network capacity that also limits the volume of transactions, it is difficult today, relatively speaking, to clearly predict how Bitcoin could be used. Widespread by the population.