Investors and spectators alike wonder if Bitcoin is a bubble that has lingered for a while, but will ultimately burst. One reason for this skepticism is that over and over again, we’ve heard about potential avenues for practical uses of cryptocurrency that haven’t really come to fruition. This doesn’t mean they never will, but the delay in digital assets establishing everyday utility speaks to why some still anticipate a Bitcoin crash.
Below, we’re going to look at some of the areas in which we’ve seen unfulfilled predictions about Bitcoin breakthroughs over the years.
1. Bitcoin As Direct Payment
While some merchants such as Starbucks are trying to find ways to accept Bitcoin as payment for goods and services, it hasn’t been easy. Merchants need apps or other software programs such as Bakkt in order to process crypto orders –– and even then, consumers can’t buy products directly with Bitcoin. Instead, they purchase gift cards that are then used for the purchase of goods.
Online meanwhile, major shopping platforms such as Etsy allow their vendors to link to their own Bitcoin wallets to allow for easy crypto transactions –– but each vendor is responsible for each payment, and fraud is usually not covered by the vendor protection that is otherwise in place.
2. Purchasing Online
Just like with physical, brick-and-mortar stores, purchasing products and services online with cryptocurrency is not yet an easy task. Despite seemingly monthly rumors that platforms as big as Amazon would begin accepting Bitcoin, crypto holders still find themselves buying gift cards (or now debit cards) with crypto and then making payments –– rather than making purchases directly.
While companies (like Amazon, again) are trying to get around this, they’re also stuck with using third-party companies in order to process Bitcoin payments for now. Furthermore, some of these third-party companies charge commissions for each purchase, or require users to convert Bitcoin or other cryptos to their own crypto coins, which makes transactions slow and costly.
3. Real Estate
Buying real estate property with Bitcoin hasn’t become mainstream yet either –– probably due to the highly volatile nature of digital assets. However, the common prediction that crypto would gain steam in real estate may not be too far from becoming a reality. Real estate is an industry that involves large deals and amounts of money that buyers and sellers alike want to take extra care with –– which means transactions need to be as secure as possible.
For that simple reason, the use of smart contracts that run transactions on blockchain networks might just be the next big thing in the industry. This in turn would open the door for buyers and sellers to purchase and sell property with Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. This idea has been put into practice, but for now it’s largely a concept; there has been no sweeping move of Bitcoin into real estate.
4. Online Casinos
There has been long-standing talk of crypto disrupting poker and online casinos. And while there are some crypto poker platforms (as well as some casinos games with crypto themes), we haven’t seen any kind of widespread influx of Bitcoin into mainstream poker outlets.
There are still a few reasons to believe in the idea of cryptocurrency gaining a place in poker, ranging from legal considerations to basic anonymity and convenience. Indeed, it may even be inevitable that crypto will at least gain a place alongside ordinary deposit options on poker platforms. But the idea of crypto simply assuming control of the poker industry, at this point, appears to be far-fetched.
5. Grocery Stores
This has been a big debate: Should grocery stores widely accept Bitcoin? There is some reluctance for grocery stores and other stores that sell necessities (think drug stores, gas stations, and others) since the values of cryptocurrencies –– including and perhaps especially Bitcoin –– fluctuate so much, while the prices of commodities don’t. It may still be a while then before we start to see larger grocery store chains and other, similar stores accepting Bitcoin as legal tender.
None of this is to paint a fully negative picture of Bitcoin’s place in the day-to-day economy. There are still possibilities for more crypto migration into these and other spaces. For now though, the categories discussed above represent predictions that haven’t come to pass –– as well as reasons for skepticism among some.
If you are interested in even more business-related articles and information from us here at Bit Rebels, then we have a lot to choose from.