Software manufacturer DataLight published a report in April 2019 comparing Bitcoin with traditional payment systems. The authors argue that Bitcoin is already successfully competing with leading payment systems such as Mastercard, Paypal, and Visa. They further note that the Bitcoin payment system is far superior to traditional international payment solutions and transfers. While Mastercard, Paypal, and Visa took up to 60 years to develop their payment systems and then take over industry leadership, Bitcoin was instantly available worldwide and is only ten years old.
Most Important Payment System in the World
The technical improvement of Bitcoin will pave the way to making it the world’s most important payment system, it said in the report. While the total volume of transactions is comparable to that of MasterCard, it is very advantageous for international transactions that even for very large amounts only low fees are incurred. The authors see further advantages primarily in the decentralized nature of Bitcoin and in the lack of censorship.
Currently, Bitcoin’s low transaction speed is the only factor hindering the rapid development of the network. However, the solution lies in the Lightning network which will increase Bitcoin’s upscaling potential and bandwidth for the network tenfold: “In just ten years, Bitcoin has been able to compete with the leaders in the payments industry. The development of Bitcoin is exponential. If it keeps this pace for another 10 years, it will outperform the competition”.
However, what this future looks like can be experienced in the Netherlands. In the 152,000-inhabitant city of Arnhem, there are many cafes, restaurants, hardware stores, petrol stations and even dental practices that accept Bitcoin already today. Altogether, one can pay at 142 places (as of April 2019), and the number is growing constantly. Although there are more in Prague, namely 160 sites that accept Bitcoin, the Czech capital also has almost ten times as many inhabitants as Arnhem, the city of Bitcoin.
The Future of Money and Payment Is Bitcoin
We can expect a future in which we look back at the time when we needed currency exchange and plastic cards. – Even if there are still pessimists today who believe that this will not happen. But this “… is just as if we said in 1992, ‘We are not ready for Facebook or Netflix’. If Netflix had been released in 1992, a single person would have shut down the Internet by downloading a movie, “commented Andreas Antonopoulos, an internationally renowned Bitcoin expert, on the coming development.
In Bitcoin City Arnhem, we can already catch a glimpse of the future of payment that awaits us. Bitcoin is the money of the future, and when everyone is ready, it will be long available for trading to become THE single currency used as a medium of exchange, store of value and unit of account. Then it will have become the key currency of the world.