Bitcoin has not gone anywhere in the past few years, but its still a valuable tool for commerce.
So it’s no surprise that the digital currency has a thriving online community of people who are actively using it for all sorts of commerce.
But while the cryptocurrency has seen a steady rise in value over the past year or so, it hasn’t gained the attention of mainstream businesses yet.
It’s still far too nascent for many to consider investing in, even as the technology continues to improve.
And there’s no guarantee that businesses that accept it will be willing to embrace the new digital currency, said Ryan Mott, founder of online store Shopify.
“If you have a store that’s willing to accept bitcoin, there’s going to be a huge demand for it,” he said.
While Bitcoin has gained in popularity, the currency is still very young.
That could make it more susceptible to abuse and theft, which has seen several major Bitcoin exchanges and wallets taken offline.
Mott says that there is some truth to the notion that Bitcoin will eventually die out, but that it won’t be for a long time.
“We’re not seeing it die out in the same way as it did in 2011,” he told The Verge.
“There’s going in this space where you can see a few of these very large exchanges, a few companies that are making a big splash with the new coins, that are getting really good traction.”
The fact that Bitcoin has been gaining so much in popularity could also make it easier for companies to accept it.
“The fact it’s so widely accepted, and the fact it has a high transaction rate, I think people will gravitate toward it as a way to pay for goods and services,” Mott said.
In a recent article for The Economist, former Bitcoin CEO Charlie Shrem told readers that the cryptocurrency could “become the new gold.”
And the rise of other cryptocurrencies like Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, and Ripple could further push the Bitcoin ecosystem forward.
The rise of cryptocurrencies is a phenomenon that is already causing concern among financial regulators.
Bitcoin and other digital currencies are not legal tender and cannot be transferred through traditional banks.
So they can be treated as “virtual currencies” that cannot be directly taxed or accounted for, which makes it difficult for financial institutions to regulate them.
The U.S. Treasury Department has warned that Bitcoin could become the next “dark web,” a network of unregulated online black markets that are not regulated by governments or central banks.