Ritcoin means different things to different people: digital gold, freedom money, criminals’ haven, and so on. But that it is emerging as a store of value globally, for better or worse, is undeniable. From paying for retail purchases and world tours to storing their life’s savings, people are using bitcoins in a plethora of ways.
Of course, critics love to focus on bitcoin being perfect for criminals, but in a previous article of this series, we have seen how their argument is fallacious. Anyway, one thing is clear from this—not everyone prefers bitcoin for payments and transactions. And so the obvious question is—who does? How are people using bitcoins in their daily lives? The possibility is endless, although some use-cases are more prominent and relatable than others.
There is an ongoing revolution in finance, people call it DeFi, and it’s steadily coming to Bitcoin. The idea is simple—innovating high-tech and inclusive financial solutions, leveraging decentralized technologies and privacy-prioritizing protocols. But it is also highly consequential, introducing unprecedented avenues for trading, financing, and fundraising. The scope for bootstrapping working capital is now broader than ever, especially in favour of SMBs. Venture Capital is also becoming more inclusive as a result of such changes.
Nevertheless, facilitating such overarching and long-term economic transformation is not bitcoin’s only point of relevance. Its significance in the realm of mundane and micro usage is great as well, becoming even greater every day. Microsoft, KFC, Wikipedia, AT&T, Subway, Namecheap, Burger King, and Benfica are only some of the biggies accepting bitcoin payments in various outlets around the world. The list of smaller businesses is naturally even longer: Pembury Tavern (England), Jeffersons Store (New Jersey), and SimplePay (Nigeria), to name a few.
The options are unfortunately sparse for Indians but they exist, nonetheless. SapnaOnline and Overstock accept bitcoin payments, for example, as do Purse and Nafa. Globally, however, the landscape is becoming increasingly supercharged, as nations like El Salvador adopt bitcoin as legal tender. Others are expected to follow suit, which means more and more ways of using bitcoin in future. Because why not?
Even in its nascency, bitcoin is one of the most robust forms of digital money, optimally secured with deterministic encryptions. Its promise of certainty is not personal or conventional or conditional, but purely mathematical. And with corruption a no-go, it is probably the best financial instrument in ages.
The author is a writer on Tech & Culture.