As Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, has been predicting, Bitcoin's future as an everyday method of payment is on the ropes as trends could be moving towards other "cryptos" that are faster, cheaper, and more stable.
Recent reports are offering similar speculations, as they observe what appears to be a shift away from Bitcoin in recent months.
While there had been a sharp uptick in the number of companies that had begun integrating Bitcoin into their payment platforms as of about six months ago, there has been something of a shift away within the past month.
Microsoft, for instance, reportedly announced that it would no longer accept Bitcoins, despite having accepted them for about three years prior to this decision. The company did, however, reserve that position after taking steps to "ensure lower Bitcoin amounts would be redeemable by customers."
The gaming platform "Steam" has also canceled its acceptance of Bitcoin as of early December of last year. The company cited high fees and extreme volatility as the primary factors in why this decision was made.
Even the North American Bitcoin Conference decided to scrap Bitcoin from its accepted forms of payment, at least for last-minute ticket purchases to the event.
Making purchases with credit cards or other non-cash means typically only costs a few cents, and the transaction is completed within seconds. Companies like VISA and MasterCard are also able to perform tens of thousands of transactions every second, which makes these methods globally scalable.
But with Bitcoin, the cost of a transaction has now reached upwards of $20 – up from about $2 several years back – and it can take several minutes to reach completion. Not only that, but only a few Bitcoin transactions can take place at one time, which means that its usefulness as a method of payment isn't so good.
This is why some are looking to cryptocurrency alternatives like LiteCoin that are much quicker and cheaper, and that can handle more transactions at once. Bitcoin has some potential in this regard, as the technology that drives it can always be upgraded – but at the current time, it's greatly lacking.
"We have, and always will, accept cryptocurrencies for our conferences, up to fourteen days before the event," the organizers of the North American Bitcoin Conference stated with regards to their recent decision.
"However, due to the manual inputting of data in our ticketing platforms when paid in cryptocurrencies, we decided to shut down Bitcoin payments for last minute sales due to print deadlines."
While Bitcoin remains in a hovering position of around $15,000 U.S. per coin, as of this writing, the cryptocurrency is struggling to define itself as an actual digital currency, rather than just a speculative "bubble," as some have called it.
Unlike many of its counterparts, Bitcoin remains the most widely recognized crypto on the market, and its acceptance has reached global status. Still, it has yet to reach true "digital gold" status, as some would argue that it has yet to prove itself as an actual store of value – especially since it's technically backed by nothing more than trust, just like fiat currencies like Federal Reserve Notes.
At the same time, the unveiling of the all-new "Lightning Network" could be a game-changer for Bitcoin. This updated system would implement a so-called "smart contract script" that would open up private payment channels for peer-to-peer transfer of Bitcoin. This would speed up the process and make it far less expensive for everyday users to trade Bitcoin.
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