Given that we are currently on the verge of entering into 2023, it is near impossible for you to not have heard about cryptocurrencies. Litecoin, Etherium, even Doge are all great examples of why cryptocurrencies are taking over the financial, investment and economical world. However, the ‘king of crypto’ still reigns and his name is Bitcoin. For those who are unaware of what exactly Bitcoin is or how it works, here is a brief rundown. Bitcoin is a peer-to-peer, decentralized cryptocurrency that allows for digital unit exchange, each called a Bitcoin, commonly abbreviated as BTC. Additionally, because it is decentralized, it cannot be controlled or regulated by any official authority. Furthermore, given the fact that the number of all possible existing Bitcoins worldwide is only 21 million, it is impossible for inflation to develop – you either need to ‘mine’ them, buy them with traditional currency or trade them in exchange for services. But what exactly makes Bitcoin so special and what are the advantages of paying with it? Here are a couple benefits that will make you wonder why you have not been using Bitcoin as payment already!
1. Anonymity & Security
Every transaction made globally is stored in the so-called ‘blockchain’. The blockchain is essentially a list of nodes, each one of which is interlinked with the others in order to fragmentally store information. This, consequently, means that the data from a single transaction is stored across multiple nodes globally, making it harder to trace (BUT not impossible!). Moreover, this allows for discreet payments as no personal information needs to be disclosed during the transaction, helping you preserve your privacy as the transaction itself involves just sending money from address X to address Y and nothing else.
But what if I get scammed or cannot trace my payments since everything is loaded into the blockchain? Fortunately, whenever you make a payment, you can then track it via the different blockchain explorers. This allows you to keep a history of your transactions as well as enables you to monitor them by providing you with information that only you can access.
Bitcoin enables you to conduct a transaction with whoever you desire anywhere on the globe. Given that Bitcoin cannot be regulated by a central body or authority no restrictions or regulations apply, meaning that you are allowed to send money to different countries that do not offer alternative payment methods or where conventional ones are either not available or prohibited. For example if you have friends, relatives or family members living in a country where PayPal is not available, you can always send them money using Bitcoin, which they can later convert into their local currency.
Staying on the same topic, some countries might not even provide their residents with access to the traditional banking system and payment methods such as using credit or debit cards, let alone have unconventional ones such as PayPal. When it comes to Bitcoin, all you would need is to create a Bitcoin wallet, which is super easy – there is no paperwork and there are no documents. All you need is a device such as a phone or a computer and internet connection.
5. Cheap International Transactions
Building on the previous points again, sending money to foreign countries using traditional payment options is quite expensive due to all of the fees that need to be applied and paid prior and after the transaction. Bitcoin payments are very cost-efficient and they mostly depend on the speed that you would require the money to arrive at the given recipient or in other words – paying a higher fee will help the money arrive faster, but you are not required to do this.
As mentioned in the previous paragraph, speed is another benefit of using Bitcoin (or at least it used to be). As soon as your transaction is confirmed, you can send it across the globe in a matter of minutes. And while waiting for confirmation and approval can take some time, speed is where Bitcoin payments used to thrive. Nowadays, with both more individuals and substantially more businesses picking up on this crypto-payment trend, it is getting increasingly difficult to send money quickly. Given that Bitcoin can only handle up to 7 payments per second, it does not come as a surprise that transaction fees have increased dramatically. However, there is a workaround to this issue should you wish to conduct lightning-fast payments and its name is the Lightning Network. The Lightning Network is a layer 2 solution to this issue of scalability in relation to Bitcoin, as it builds on top of the blockchain mechanism rather than trying to alter it. It is a decentralized network which features a series of interconnected payment channels (different from the blockchain), which open as a contract between the two parties upon the transaction process. Using the Network, you can conduct fast and cheap off-chain payments, secured by cryptographic contracts, capable of supporting millions of operations simultaneously. The key difference with the Lightning Network is that only the participants receive the information about the transaction in contrast to the blockchain, where payments are broadcasted to the entirety of the network.
7. Application & Device Support
There are many divergent applications that you can download on your phone, which will allow you to transfer, receive and manage bitcoins, making this way of payment easy, secure and available for you on the go, removing all of the hassle, concerns and issues that you could run into when using conventional payment methods regardless of whether it is sending money to family, relatives or friends, paying your bills or for a given service.
8. Paying for Services Using Bitcoin
There are many different companies that allow you to pay for your services using Bitcoin. Examples range from bus and event tickets, to food delivery, lawn-mowing services and even online hosted vps servers like those from vpsbg! Moreover, the number of companies and service providers that are beginning to accept Bitcoin as payment is constantly increasing, meaning that getting a Bitcoin wallet might be beneficial for you.