You can now buy a Tesla with Bitcoin, what next?
WHEN Elon Musk tweeted “You can now buy a Tesla with Bitcoin” he did not just announce a new way of buying the electric vehicle, Tesla, but he boosted Bitcoin as a currency for buying other things.
As the value of Bitcoin has continued to rise, there were huge doubts in the finance world about its ability to replace other currencies.
When people like Musk expressed their confidence in Bitcoin, the doubts were diminished and mainstream society began to view Bitcoin with confidence.
Musk is not the only business leader who is beginning to trust Bitcoin.
Recently, Uber boss Dara Khosrowshahi, while speaking on Squawk Box, the American morning news and talk programme, indicated that Uber was considering accepting cryptocurrency as a form of payment.
He said: “Just like we accept all kinds of local currency, we are going to look at cryptocurrency and/or bitcoin in terms of currency to transact.”
Mastercard, the multinational financial services corporation, has also added its weight to the move towards acceptancing cryptocurrency.
Last month, Mastercard announced its intentions to open its network to some cryptocurrencies, a move the credit card giant said would allow consumers and merchants “to transact in an entirely new form of payment”.
Actions and words by these leaders and businesses point in one direction – Bitcoin will probably become a widely accepted form of payment in the near future.
Early adopters of technology are already in and, now, we are witnessing what can only be referred to as a tipping point taking place as business leaders and other leading businesses begin to adopt cryptocurrencies as another form of payment.
We will probably be seeing the followers of early adopters also embracing cryptocurrencies, as the fear of missing out engulfs them.
The adoption of cryptocurrencies by major businesses will be a major headache for unprepared governments. China is leading by piloting a digital currency. More countries should prepare themselves for a move towards virtual currencies.
In South Africa, the Intergovernmental Fintech Working Group (IFWG), is working with South African financial sector regulators to demystify the regulatory landscape, provide a space for safe experimentation and actively advance innovation.
Through Project Khokha 2, the IFWG is exploring the policy and regulatory implications of innovation in financial markets driven by distributed ledger technology.
Efforts by this grouping might be what South Africa needs to prepare itself for what’s coming in the fintech world.
Wesley Diphoko is the editor of Biztech.
BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE