Can Bitcoin debit and credit cards make the digital currency mainstream?

By Daniel Zo Bitcoin Credit Card, Blockchain

Today, we’re going to discuss about the aspects which are most likely to take Bitcoin mainstream, and transform it into the financial system that it has the potential of becoming.

To kick things off, reports have shown that the amount of active bitcoin wallets, but also the number of daily transactions have increased considerably over the past year. However, regardless of this, it seems like most people haven’t even heard about bitcoin, or have a vague idea about the currency. This isn’t okay, considering the fact that bitcoin is the currency of the internet, and billions of people have access to the network.

The issue might be that until now, most bitcoin companies in the industry have been focusing on creating a new distributed network, and offering applications meant for mining, commerce and exchange, rather than focusing on actually promoting the cryptocurrency and helping it become mainstream. In fact, the situation might be improving, but it’s worse than most of us are expecting. According to a recent report, not one of the world’s 100 top merchants accepts direct payments in bitcoin. As the rate of merchant bitcoin acceptance is not rapidly increasing, it could potentially take years before bitcoin is adopted all around the world at this rate.

Instead, some people have begun arguing about a new idea, meant to make bitcoin accessible to everyone. Card networks which allow people to pay for their products with bitcoin by using a normal credit card in retail and online stores, have the potential of making bitcoin mainstream. The process is quite simple, as customers can proceed to pay with a card, which will exchange bitcoin to USD, and offer the merchant the equivalent in fiat, in case they do not yet accept bitcoin. This also eliminates the problem of introducing bitcoin-terminals in stores, which can turn out to be quite expensive. Most stores use point-of-sale terminals, and with the recent update in the Ingenico POS devices, bitcoin can now even be accepted without the need of a credit or debit card. Users also do not need a certain app, or to behave in a certain way, as long as they choose to be paid in bitcoin and earn some currency.

As Bitcoin and the blockchain have the strong potential of becoming one of the biggest financial breakthroughs, it’s important to start coming up with new ways of allowing the general public to use the cryptocurrency, without making it too difficult. According to the reports, Bitcoin debit cards and car networks in general will have a strong and immediate impact on accelerating bitcoin adoption.

Based on everything that has been outlined so far, it makes more sense to trust payment operators to come up with easy ways of using the cryptocurrency, rather than just trying to force merchants to introduce bitcoin terminals, and to change their business practices. Of course, these changes are bound to come in the future, once the popularity of bitcoin increases, but for now, we’ll have to begin tinkering with the idea of changing our credit and debit cards, if we truly want bitcoin to be successful.