Bitcoin is Finally Becoming an “Everyday Use” Currency
Over the last few years, Bitcoin has gained a reputation as an investment commodity. It has been toted as a method to preserve wealth and to hedge against currency devaluation as bitcoins cannot be “printed”.
This reputation still holds true today. With Greece’s economy on the rocks and the unfolding aftermath of a “no” decision, the bitcoin price has skyrocketed by around 20% in the last month. While Greeks are having difficulties buying the cryptocurrency due to capital controls, Coinbase has reported that buys across Europe have increased 300% as others observe what is happening in Greece.
However, recent transaction data also shows that more bitcoins are being spent on “everyday use” items. Bitpay, which facilitates retail transactions using bitcoins, reports that the number of transactions has increased from 209,420 to 563,568 (from 2013 to 2014). Interestingly, the average order amount decreased substantially from $513 to $281 per order as more people bought more everyday items.
What are people buying with bitcoins? It turns out the list is pretty boring: bedroom sheets, headphones, area rugs, mattresses, coffee tables, sunglasses, and donations to non-profits all help round out the top ten items bought on Overstock.com. With the cryptocurrency becoming more ubiquitous as shown by reaching the 100k daily transaction mark (not including popular addresses) this year, it is being used more and more for regular ecommerce purchases.
As we’ve previously shown with technology hype cycles, it takes some time for new innovations to develop the infrastructure to reach their hyped potential. There is evidence that shows that cryptocurrencies and Bitcoin are along this path. Even though they are primed to change the world and spur even more innovation, the world has not yet been ready. It seems to be getting closer, though.