Bitcoin used to be hugely popular for transferring value. Most Bitcoin early adopters used to love the fact that you can transfer money from different locations for a very cheap price. They also often cheered whenever a new website or local store started to adopt Bitcoin. At the time, every time there was a new “pay with Bitcoin” logo, it was seen as a huge win for everybody.
However, since a few years ago, things have changed so much. The narrative for Bitcoin slowly changed to be the “store of value”. This article will explain why it’s so important to have a mentality where “pay with Bitcoin” is the norm, not just to satisfy traders’ illusion of greed.
Bitcoin Was And Still Is Cheaper Than SWIFT
If you have been using bank transfer to send money overseas, you would have known what I mean. It is often slow and has huge fees that can go somewhere above $20 or even $30 in some countries. The money will arrive in few days although in some countries it can go as fast as one day.
Still, though, it’s not comparable with Bitcoin transfer. When you transfer Bitcoin from different countries, you can actually achieve much better speed, less than 45 minutes, and you will only need to pay less than a few dollars. Obviously, if your target is to transfer fiat, it means you would need to convert your Bitcoin back to fiat once you already receive it in the recipient wallet.
But, if you compare the overall speed of Bitcoin vs. SWIFT, you would know what I mean exactly. The speed is not really comparable. Bitcoin is still universally cheaper than SWIFT and is still faster. When there are more applications adopting and improving the Lightning Network, it will be even better.
Not only that, but Bitcoin also removes the need for vostro and nostro accounts. There are billions of dollars worth of US dollars that are just laying there. If financial institutions and banks start using Bitcoin, they will be able to inject some fiat back into the economy from their vostro and nostro accounts.
So, Bitcoin Is Superior. But, Why Most People Only Trade And HODL?
The narrative has always been the same. Many people who invest and trade Bitcoin are believers who might think Bitcoin can keep going up in the long-term. However, the mentality has slowly changed. Earlier, people still believed it was okay to spend some of their Bitcoins while they kept the rest. Now, it seems like most people only HODL and refuses actually to spend Bitcoin to buy things they actually need.
This fact is actually both good and bad. It’s good when there are more people that see Bitcoin as valuable, but it’s also bad when you don’t actually see Bitcoin as a “currency” but more of a vehicle of investment. You see, there are also a lot of people who see US Dollar as an investment but yet people still spend their USD to buy things.
Bitcoin’s importance as a speculative asset (and not as a currency) can be partially blamed to the whales that only care about trading and making a profit in stablecoin or fiat valuation. Yes, when there are not enough people using Bitcoin actually to pay for things, and when there are more people using it only as a means for investment, it makes everything much harder for adoption.
The Importance Of “Pay With Bitcoin”
There are a lot of shops with “Pay With Bitcoin” symbol, but even people who actually have Bitcoin rarely pay with Bitcoin. There are two aspects that need to happen if we want people and merchants actually to adopt more Bitcoin payment:
The convenience of converting to fiat
You see, Bitcoin adoption is like a chicken and egg game. When there is not enough liquidity for Bitcoin, the price can easily pump or dump. Yes, it is quite different from fiat currencies when there are enough liquidity (and government’s intervention) to make it stable, although over-time they keep losing their value due to inflation.
But, back to Bitcoin. One of the reasons why merchants rarely accept it is simply because there’s not enough convenience of converting to fiat. And yes, it’s quite important to have the ability for them to convert their Bitcoin back to fiat, because they need to use their revenues to buy more supply of whatever they are selling. In many cases and countries, this ability does not always exist. Even when they do, some POS (point of selling) devices charge much higher than the real and competitive price of Bitcoin/local fiat pairing.
The Fast And Easy-To-Use Crypto Wallet
This is one of the other reasons why it’s not that easy to “pay with Bitcoin”. Many crypto wallets are only designed just to receive and send and HODL. There are some wallets that try to do everything at once, including to pay at POS devices. However, they are still hard to use, and most casuals want something that’s easier to understand.
Many Bitcoin wallets still use the same copy-paste feature and QR code scanning that is harder to use than the likes of AliPay and WeChat Pay. I believe human-readable addresses and to-the-point QR code scanning to send Bitcoin should be available with most multi-crypto wallets. Not only that, the ability to detect the POS’ BTC to fiat conversion rate should be made available as well if we want to see more people actually paying with Bitcoin.
At this point, most crypto believers still rather pay with cash or e-money application every time they want to pay at merchants with “Pay With Bitcoin” logo. It’s still cheaper and easier to just pay with fiat.
Spending your cryptocurrencies can actually help adoption. It’s actually quite important because most merchants and mainstream websites will only consider adding more Bitcoin option if people actually spend it rather than just buy and HODL. However, in order to achieve such a goal, we also need seamless crypto wallet applications as well as the convenience and competitive exchange rate to convert BTC to fiat for the merchants.