Last year witnessed a sudden as dramatic growth in the value of bitcoin with the digital currency rising to become nearly the most valuable thing on earth. This led to most firm eyeing to integrate bitcoin as a payment system so to stay trendy. However, against so many “soothing” predictions, this year has not been favorable for bitcoin as it kept falling in price.
Now, majority of the firms are either turning away from Bitcoin or doing a full U-turn. Microsoft recently announced that after almost three years it would stop accepting Bitcoin. However, it did reserve that position after taking its own steps to: “ensure lower Bitcoin amounts would be redeemable by customers.”
Valve’s Steam, the gaming platform, also canceled its use of Bitcoin as a payment system in early December last year. Their reasons resonated with the general consensus, citing high fees and incredible volatility as the main issues.
This does not affect only those outside of the crypto market, even the North American Bitcoin Conference set to be held in Miami next week, is no longer taking Bitcoin for last-minute tickets.
Bitcoin is slow and expensive
It has been a bone of contention with Bitcoin since its fees started averaging about $2, now with transactions costing upwards of $20, people have started looking at Bitcoin as something other than a digital currency. The North American Bitcoin Conference said on its website that network congestion and manual processing influenced the decision to stop accepting payment in bitcoin.
According to them: “We have, and always will, accept cryptocurrencies for our conferences, up to fourteen days before the event. However, due to the manual inputting of data in our ticketing platforms when paid in cryptocurrencies, we decided to shut down Bitcoin payments for last minute sales due to print deadlines.”
Bitcoin seems like the Digital Gold
It would seem that it is possible to link Bitcoin’s change in categorization back to when SegWit2x failed to launch and thus sent Bitcoin on a monster rally that saw it end the year 13 times stronger than when it started.
Bitcoin was having problems defining itself as a digital currency, or as digital gold, and due to the nature of the cryptocurrency, it was defined democratically as SegWit2x was not taken up – for a number of reasons. It was thought that SegWit2x would help lower costs and speed up the network; however, Bitcoin’s value as a store of value would probably take a hit.
And, with interest in Bitcoin being driven by the mainstream acceptance of the digital currency to be an asset that grew exponentially, it seemed that the community was keen to see it move towards being so-called digital gold.
Bitcoin is not permanent
Bitcoin has a fluidic nature meaning that it could still become a very useful and viable currency if the community decides. The latest change that could be on the cards is the Lightning Network which would help hugely with Bitcoin scaling issue.
The Lightning Network would implement a smart contract script into the Bitcoin network that would open private payment channels between a peer and all of the other peers they transact with. In addition to all the private payment channels they are a part of, each of peer would have one channel open to the Bitcoin Blockchain.
Do you think Bitcoin Lightning Network will be implemented on a large scale this year, and will it help with the congestion problems?