Bitcoin is now in the popular mainstream with few not knowing of the famous digital coin. In December it ballooned to nearly $20,000 before dropping all the way down to nearly $6,000. Investing in Bitcoin (or any other cryptocurrency) is risky and anybody who bought bitcoin in December would certainly be having second thoughts on this decision and more traditional investors would tell you to stay away. Whether you want to invest in it or not though, cryptocurrency should be something everyone should be keeping an eye on as its practical use in the real world is only starting to get realized. Here are a few examples of those.
1. International Money transfer. Anyone that sends money to a different part of the world must go through the SWIFT payment system. An extremely costly and time-consuming process with even the slightest mistake costing significant delays. It started in the early 70s and has had a monopoly over the system ever since, a monopoly that has resulted in little innovation throughout its history. Many banks feel that cryptocurrency may be the solution. One such coin named Ripple has partnered with hundreds of banks around the world to test out their payment protocol which relies on their coin. Tests have shown that payments using their coin can take a few seconds at little cost, making the coin a real threat to SWIFT.
2. Making Discreet Purchases. Sometimes people want to make purchases that they don’t want to show up on their credit card bill. I will let you use your imagination for what I am talking about but safe to say many coins can make it near impossible for the purchase to come back to you. Some adult entertainment sites have realized this and are now taking some coins as a form of payment. This unfortunately has negative consequences as discreetness is a trait that is very attractive to the criminal world.
3. Online Shopping. Right now, credit cards do this job very well but lately we have been hearing about data breaches exposing customers payment information. Cryptocurrencies can all but eliminate this risk ask you can make a payment without revealing any information. Online stores may soon utilize this as it could lower their overall security overhead.