Flash back to 2011: You were attending an info session at college about Bitcoin, the strange but arguably successful form of currency blazing trails across different corners of the web. A look at the news told you the value of Bitcoin was beginning at a bargain of $2. Some of your peers might have even urged you to invest in this alternative to flat currencies, while others remained completely unaware of its existence.
Created in 2009 by an unidentified programmer, Bitcoin has since been endorsed by celebrities, business experts, and tech entrepreneurs alike. It seems Bitcoin’s mysterious birth didn’t stop it from quickly attracting the attention of numerous well-known businesses. In 2014, everyone from Lord and Taylor to Dell to Virgin Galactic began accepting Bitcoin, prompting other colossal firms to flash their lights on the obscure “crypto-currency”.
Retailers and vendors are naturally intrigued by Bitcoin because of the ability to perform a direct transaction without the need for a “middle man,” a.k.a a bank. This allows for instant payment processing on the “blockchain,” which speeds up shipping and handling. Bitcoin also permeates geo-borders via the Internet, producing seamless payment processing.
After a lull lasting about three years, Bitcoin is back on the headlines with a value surpassing $1,000 in the earliest few days of 2017. Traders are taking advantage of profits, as well as countries where government regulation causes them to seek alternate solutions for transferring money across borders.
What does this mean for the digital marketing industry? In Front Digital, a prominent digital marketing agency based in London, recently announced the acceptance of Bitcoin in exchange for its services. The company is apparently hoping that introducing new payment options will widen its net and capture a new client base, one that continues to grow as crypto-currencies become more common. Whether or not more companies will follow suit remains unclear. Bitcoin is still considerably scarce, and although the exact number of users is difficult to determine, there is reason to believe it is beginning to gain traction once again.
More companies seem to be slowly turning their heads towards the benefits of utilizing alternative currency but most remain dubious of its advantages and its potential to become a mainstream tool. But Bitcoin’s recent peaks in value and reports of companies adapting to its odd nuances suggest that the currency could present more E-Commerce options for consumers, producing an uphill trend in this somewhat murky exchange.