Bitcoin is still young.
While it's been around for close to 10 years, the technology underlying it and its use as a proper currency are still in its infancy.
While there may be plenty of options for paying with a credit card, debit card, or PayPal, there are multiple benefits to using cryptos for payment depending on your goals.
Below are three of the main reasons to use Bitcoin for your next transaction.
No Central Authority
One of biggest benefits of Bitcoin is you get to cut out the middleman.
There's no Government issuing the currency like fiat money so they can't inflate or deflate the value of it over time.
There are no big central banks keeping meticulous records of every dollar you spend.
Those big banks can't lend your money out to others leveraged to the hilt for their own profit.
One of Satoshi Nakamoto's founding principles was to create a purely peer-to-peer electronic cash system that avoided these financial institutions.
While privacy is a commonly-touted benefit Bitcoin is actually one of the most transparent payment networks out there.
Every transaction ever made is recorded on a distributed ledger that anyone can see.
The caveat, however, is this is done so in a pseudonymous nature, as opposed to your personal account records being held under your name with a financial institution such as a bank.
If you use the same Bitcoin address every time you make a transaction and somehow that address is linked back to you, then it would be very easy to compile your transaction history, spending habits, and associations due to the ledger being out in the public.
If you value your privacy, however, it's easy to isolate all your transactions using different addresses and different wallets making it impossible to associate them all together.
Global Acceptance (Almost)
Bitcoin allows almost instantaneous payments to anyone, anywhere in the world.
As long as you have an internet connection you can send and receive Bitcoin payments regardless of geographical borders.
This is particularly useful for cutting the high transaction costs of sending money overseas that traditional services like Western Union or PayPal entail.
The uptake hasn't been without its hurdles though.
Countries such as China, Bolivia, Ecuador and others have outright banned cryptocurrency including Bitcoin, citing fears of fraud and financial risks to its people (and not to mention a threat of a weakened reserve currency of each nation).
Time will tell if these outright bans will stick in those countries, or whether the governments are just looking for a way to regulate or tax Bitcoin.
But for now, as a lucky Aussie, you're free to spend your Bitcoins any place you can find that will take them.
See here for "Where can I spend Bitcoin in Australia?"
- Joshua Maher
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