Bitcoin likely to become accepted form of payment in the not-so-distant future
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 of buying other things.
As the value of Bitcoin has continued to rise, there are still huge doubts in the finance world about its ability to replace other currencies.
When people like Elon Musk express their confidence in Bitcoin those doubts are diminished and mainstream society begins to view Bitcoin differently and with confidence. Elon Musk is not alone amongst business leaders who are beginning to trust Bitcoin.
Recently Uber boss, Dara Khosrowshahi , while speaking at Squawk Box, American morning news and talk programme, indicated that Uber may accept 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.”
Multinational financial services corporation Mastercard also added its weight behind cryptocurrency acceptance moves. Last month, Mastercard announced intentions to open up its network to some cryptocurrencies, a move the credit card giant said will allow consumers and merchants “to transact in an entirely new form of payment.
Actions and words by these leaders and businesses point to one direction. Bitcoin is likely to become a form of a widely accepted form of payment in the near future. Early adopters of technology are already in and now we are witnessing what can be referred to as the tipping point taking place as business leaders and other leading businesses begin to adopt cryptocurrencies as another form of payment. We are now likely to see followers of early adopters also adopting crypto as the fear of missing out engulfs them.
The adoption of cryptocurrencies by major businesses will be a major headache for unprepared governments. So far 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 may be what South African needs to prepare itself for what’s coming in the fintech world.