At the end of 2013, Shopify announced its integration of Bitcoin, allowing its tens of thousands of merchants to accept it as payment. EBay’s chief John Donahoe made a statement last summer regarding his vision for Bitcoin, with it (and other digital currencies) playing an important role in the growth of PayPal. And as of the end of last year, retail giants such as Overstock.com, Amazon, Target, Sears, and Newegg.com have all begun accepting Bitcoin.
Looking to the future, it’s more likely than not digital currency will become more widely accepted. Due to its anonymity, lack of taxation and universal conversion capabilities, Bitcoin seems promising. Despite many kinks that have yet to be worked out (along with its mildly unfortunate reputation thanks to Silkroad.com), there is a lot of recognizable potential for online trading. In low margin businesses, both the low cost and ease of transaction tend to be extremely appealing features (Forbes).
While some are advocating for the end of Bitcoin due to various arguments, many are unaware of or have overlooked its rapid growth. Barely 7 years old as a company, Bitcoin has already transcended phases of experimentation and early adoption to reach an estimated net worth of $6 million. If Bitcoin continues to rise – the way the adoption by massive e-tailers infers it could – we may be in for a revolution.
It has been suggested that Bitcoin will need to evolve and mature before it truly takes hold of the masses (Business Insider). It’s certainly experienced a great start out of the gate, but it probably won’t be any time in the next year or two that it will surface into the mainstream. It is highly probable, however, that we will experience a social explosion of Bitcoin (or a similar digital currency) in the next 5 to 10 years – not just by eCommerce, but by consumers as well.