Bitcoin was originally created as an alternative and decentralized payment method. Different from international bank transfers at that time, it was low transactions fee and almost instantaneous. An additional benefit for merchants (less for users) was that it was irreversible, eliminating the threat of costly returns.
However, the improvement in national payment methods and the rapid development of alternative forms (not cryptocurrencies) of international transfers has reduced the advantage of bitcoin in this area, especially due to its increasing rates and frequent bottlenecks in the network.
In addition, increasing supervision and regulation to prevent money laundering and illegal transactions have restricted the use of cryptocurrency for privacy reasons.
In some parts of the world, Bitcoin remains a more efficient and economical way to transfer money across borders, and several remittance companies use this function. However, Bitcoin’s cost and speed advantages are eroding as traditional channels improve (and network rates continue to increase), and liquidity remains a problem in many countries.
And many people feel more comfortable keeping a portion of their wealth in securely stored bitcoins, where a central authority cannot block access or take a cut.
According to some sources, bitcoin is increasingly used for money laundering. But we know you wouldn’t do that. And anyway, bitcoin is not, as is commonly believed, a good vehicle for money laundering, extortion or terrorist financing, since it is traceable and transparent, as a series of recent arrests can attest.
Payments image via Shutterstock.
Article Source: http://www.coindesk.com