Bitcoin came onto the scene nearly a decade ago in 2009 and has slowly been making strides in the financial world ever since. What makes it unique is that it was developed and is managed by cryptocurrency, which has no central authority.
The digital currency has been restricted to the financial sector, but it’s slowly moving its way into more mainstream uses. One of the main issues that most have had with the digital currency is that because of a lack of a central authority, it can be tough to regulate.
Over the last few months, bitcoin’s value has increased significantly. As we’ve reported, bitcoin has seen its fair share of ups and downs. It was valued at just under $1,000 and then soared up to more than $3,000, but it is now sitting at just over $2,300. Though bitcoin’s value has slipped below its highest point back in May, it has still effectively more than doubled since the beginning of the year.
We’ve recently learned about two new places that have started accepting bitcoin as a form of payment outside of the finance industry arena.
This summer, Burger King locations in Russia are set to start accepting bitcoin from consumers when their order is placed. The initial pilot test for this will be in Moscow, but there have been confirmations that a nationwide rollout will occur within the next few weeks.
On the other end of the spectrum, the BBC is reporting that a New York preschool will now be accepting bitcoin payments. Montessori schools in both the Flatiron and Soho neighborhoods started accepting bitcoin back in June after parents from the school made a request to do so. While the schools do not currently allow payments to be made via credit card, bitcoin has opened up a new payments avenue for parents.
In bitcoin news this past week, we’ve seen varying thoughts on the state of the digital currency.
Some are starting to worry with bitcoin seeing a slight dip; others are more optimistic about it by saying it’s actually seeing a boost upward.
“To continue to flourish, bitcoin does not have to become a more stable store of value than the U.S. dollar,” says a WSJ article authored by Northwestern University law professor John McGinnis and Boies Schiller & Flexner lawyer Kyle Roche. “It can climb the rungs of respectability by prevailing over less-trustworthy currencies. It is already gaining strength and stability by competing successfully against monetarily oppressive regimes and helping poor immigrants in the developed world remit money to their relatives back home. As bitcoin gains stability, it can become even more competitive because even the best fiat money is subject to political risks.”
Overseas, we’re seeing the U.K. and Switzerland move bitcoin up the priority ladder.
U.K. fintech startup Revolut has decided to move forward with integrating cryptocurrency services into its offerings following a $66-million round of funding.
Private Swiss bank Falcon announced its plans to open up a new blockchain asset management service to its customers via a partnership with Bitcoin Suisse.
There have been many articles over the last year exploring the various ins and outs when it comes to implementing bitcoin in the mainstream mix of currency. One of the main issues that continues to rise over and over is the question of how governments plan to regulate bitcoin. While there are currently no firm answers on this issue, it’s likely that we’ll see some best practices arise from these more commercial uses mentioned above. From there, we can probably derive a loose set of regulations to help get the ball rolling on how to best implement bitcoin payments around the world.