Bitcoins Surge As Popularity Rises
Over the last few years a new found currency known as Bitcoins has made waves across the financial world. At first, the currency was seen by many of Wall Street’s professionals as a novelty, however, on a global scale the currency seems to be picking up steam. The value of one Bitcoin has soared this year as popularity for the currency has grown substantially. Alongside the rise in popularity and price appreciation, a greater number of merchants have begun to accept the currency as a viable form of payment. Over the last week we have seen a number of notable online retailers begin to accept Bitcoins as an acceptable payment currency.
Popular e-commerce platform Shopify announced earlier in the week it would add a Bitcoin payment option for its sellers. With over 70,000 online stores, the number of goods that can potentially be purchased using Bitcoins has drastically expanded. Bitcoin payments via BitPay will be offered as an option for merchants once they request activation for their accounts. This news comes after several Shopify merchants and their customers have been lobbying for Bitcoin integration for some time. So far the response from the Shopify community has been overwhelmingly positive.
Using current figures, 1 BTC equates to roughly $340 and on the rise. Should we see an increasing number of people using Bitcoins for payment, demand for the currency could rise sending its value even higher. Much of this recent demand has been driven by increasing popularity out of China. According to global volume statistics, China has been the key market over the last couple weeks. BTC China, the leading Bitcoin exchange in China, recently surpassed Japan-based Mt. Gox last week in terms of global trading volume for the digital currency. The currency was recently featured in favorable reports on China’s state-run CCTV television network and in government-backed newspapers within the country. Since Baidu, China’s leading search engine, announced its plans to accept
Bitcoin as payment for some services headlines have been aimed on the subject.
For Chinese shoppers the currency may allow greater purchasing power and opportunity online. Up until today the e-commerce market has been very controlled and the currency has been pegged for much of its existence. Going forward, digit purchases such as media or other services may be exchanged using digital currencies. Bitcoins could provide privacy and secrecy for both merchants and shoppers alike. Perhaps needed in a society without privacy whatsoever.
In the coming months a number of analyst have publically stated they expect a greater number of merchants to begin accepting the currency worldwide. Time will tell if the currency is fairly valued. Its hard to value something with little intrinsic value, similar to gold.
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