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What is happening on Bitcoin? Should corporates invest any time or money in it?

On Friday, one of Bitcoin’s lead developers, Mike Hearn, said in a blogpost that he was ending his involvement with the cryptocurrency and selling all of his remaining holdings because it had "failed" - see. His concerns are based on technical and scheme management concerns:

  • Technical: Bitcoin at present only allows a maximum of just three payments to be processed per second (compared to Visa’s 20,000/second)
  • Scheme Management: Bitcoin was meant to be “a new, decentralized form of money that lacked 'systemically important institutions” and 'too big to fail, instead it has become a system controlled by a handful of people.

There are also concerns at the amount of processing power and energy that new Bitcoins take to generate. 

However, Bitcoin was the top performing currency in 2015 - see, there is considerable momentum across the whole Bitcoin movement - see, and there are specific markets that Bitcoin opens up as the Cardinal Commerce guide shows.

Cardinal Commerce’s Merchant Guide

Cardinal's new resource, "A Merchant's Guide to Bitcoin", describes the world of bitcoin payments from the eCommerce side. It examines:

  • Is bitcoin secure?
  • How does bitcoin work? 
  • What is the success rate for merchants currently accepting bitcoin?
  • How much control do merchants have over bitcoin transactions?
  • Do Customers feel safe paying with bitcoin?

The report shows that Bitcoin can open up new markets, .e.g. many orders that were deemed too risky to accept with credit cards are now processed using bitcoin.

CTMfile take: Bitcoin will clearly not disappear, however, its market is going to be limited by technical and scheme issues as Hearn pointed out. It will never be able to process the number of transactions/second that the card schemes can. It is, and will remain, a niche payment scheme. The question for corporate treasury departments can you use it to open up new new niche e-commerce markets.

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