It’s great news for the Bitcoin community as in the last 3 months its value has nearly doubled to $408.74 after a steady increase from the start of the year. With a historical high of over $1,000 to meet, this growth is likely to continue according to a new infographic. Their 33 indicators also suggest the cryptocurrency’s popularity is only going to increase as well, as we head in to 2016.
Of course it’s been more than a bumpy ride for Satoshi Nakamoto’s revolutionary technology. Following a string of scandals such as the downfall of dark web marketplace The Silk Road and the missing funds from the Mt. Gox exchange, its price spiralled downwards from 2013. However since January this year it has been steadily regaining ground. Most interestingly despite these hurdles public interest has also actually been increasing since the technology was made available. Logic dictates that the larger the market the less likely that major crashes and volatility will occur, so value is not the only measure of how strong it is becoming.
Some of this strengthening is down to a huge surge in bitcoin popularity in China. In fact 8 in 10 BTC transactions involve Chinese Yuan, surpassing both US and European demand. This is partly due to the Chinese government’s strict control over its citizens’ finances. Bitcoin has given them the freedom to spend and invest their money all over the world without interference. The usefulness of the technology’s anonymity has clearly been demonstrated because despite trying to ban the currency, the government have found no effective way to enforce the policy.
Bitcoin’s surge across Asia is very apparent when looking at the growth of the exchanges. All the major ones have more than doubled, while Singapore’s OK Coin has seen staggering growth of 847% in just one year. Though growth in the west isn’t quite at that rate, BitStamp’s 160% increase is still enough to get people to take notice.
As well as trades, general use of bitcoin for purchases is also way up. It now has a daily transaction value of $289 million. PayPal only accounts for $397 million, so it’s not beyond the realm to imagine a world where bitcoin is actually the dominate Internet-based payment option. Venture capital investment is helping this along through the development of apps and technology that allow the general public to easily use bitcoin. It’s certainly much easier to access than 5 years ago when only programmers and “geeks” understood it. In 2015 there has been $469 million of venture capital made available already. Back in 2012 it was only $2 million.
There are currently over 100,000 merchants (online and offline businesses) that now accept bitcoin as payment for their goods and services – including Microsoft, Time Inc., Expedia, NewEgg, Overstock, and TigerDirect. The advancement in payment processing now means there’s no reason for them not to. Using BitPay for example is cheaper than accepting credit cards, due to a transaction fee of just 1%, and if they don’t want to maintain a BTC wallet due to price fluctuations, payments can be automatically exchanged in to a regular currency at no extra cost.
August saw a new record of 70,000 bitcoin transactions through BitPay. The processor can be easily setup on the web for e-commerce checkouts, and physical establishments can also take payment easily through a mobile app. For more data about the current bitcoin landscape and signs that growth is going to continue across the board, be sure to check out the new infographic from Bargain Fox. The future looks very bright for bitcoin.