The infographic says it has been created to show the shift of bitcoin as an investment commodity to everyday use. Why do you think the shift is happening?
Bitcoin is going through a new phase in 2015. There is more trust in Bitcoin and Blockchain technology from business, government and large financial institutions. More and more merchants are starting to accept Bitcoin. There were around 1.000 Bitcoin accepting merchants in 2013. Today we have over 100.000. The Bitcoin price in the last two quarters has also been relatively steady. Bad news for speculators.
Bitcoin and Blockchain are now essential part every big bank’s R&D agenda. Millions of VC money are also poured in. In 2013, there were around $30 million of VC investments in Bitcoin related companies. As you can see in the infographic, just few months ago one of the latest Bitcoin investments was nearly $120 million.
Do you think this is a positive change? Why or why not?
Absolutely. Most importantly, we are starting to understand that Bitcoin and Blockchain offers means to transfer value that extends well beyond financial services. For example, in the future the Blockchain technology could allow retail stores to verify products for authenticity, organic, fair trade etc. and also allow the consumer to purchase with Bitcoin.
What can be done to spur this change further?
More activity that will build stronger confidence in Bitcoin. For example, Elliptic recently announced the ‘Bitcoin Big Bang’ which offers a ground breaking AML (Anti-money laundering services) 21.co has a radical mission to create a miner in everybody’s smart phone and Everledger offers a completely new fraud detection systems utilizing smart contracts. These are very radical innovations with very smart people and money backing.
The infographic shows that Bitcoin still has a lot of catching up to do in regards to other networks, especially cards. What is the main hindrance to this and what can be done about it?
Thus far, companies such as Bitpay and Coinbase have done a lot in terms of expanding the network of Bitcoin accepting merchants. However, the main hindrance I see is that consumers still don’t see a good enough value preposition to pay via Bitcoin. For example, why would I use Bitcoin to pay for my travel while I can pay with a credit card which offers me 0% APR, no foreign transaction fees and tons of air-miles and other rewards? However, as I mentioned earlier Bitcoin and Blockchain could potentially offer a value proposition much stronger than credit cards as Bitcoin extends beyond payments. I believe it’s only a matter of time.
Coupofy is one the largest networks of branded stores with an instant flow of the greatest deals. The company works with 3000 online stores and is set to build the largest database of Bitcoin accepting merchants offering discounts. Coupofy was established by Potential which is a rapidly growing incubator for digital companies in the UK and Asia. Since 2012 Potential launched several companies and invested in over 30 startups. Potential is currently managing the largest AngelList Syndicate in Europe and one of the biggest globally with over 150 investors.