Goodbye Paypal, Hello Bitpay!
The financial world looks set for a real shake-up in the coming decade. The so-called ‘currency revolution’ could mean online consumers and merchants will soon be moving away from hard currency transactions in favour of trading in Bitcoin, the now infamous digital cryptocurrency.
Bitcoin and Branson
Recently, Bitpay, a transaction portal similar to Paypal for Bitcoin, has completed its biggest round of funding yet, bringing their total investment to $32.7million. Among these investors were Virgin CEO Sir Richard Branson and Yahoo entrepreneur Jerry Yang. Branson justified the move by saying that Bitpay has
“proven itself to process Bitcoin safely and reliably, growing the market and increasing adoption, which continues to build trust, legitimacy and momentum in this exciting currency revolution.”
Bitpay is now the leading Bitcoin processor and is continues to grow their network of 30,000 merchants that are already accepting bitcoin as a means of exchange.
Commercial space flight provider Virgin Galactic® has since announced it will be accepting Bitcoin payments in exchange for tickets.
Insurance and Bitcoin?
While the mainstream insurance industry does not look geared to embrace Bitcoin exchange just yet, it may only be a matter of time as both consumers and merchants alike are converting to Bitcoin in order to exploit its many advantages over traditional currency.
Bitcoin currency exchange is simple, cheap and safe. Unlike traditional currency which is highly politicised, Bitcoin is decentralised meaning there is little to no exposure to inflationary pressures and no risk of seizure through government intervention. On top of this, Bitcoin transactions mean no taxes, transaction fees and no risk of “charge-backs” – once the transaction is complete, the Bitcoin is yours. There are, however, a few issues that may mean that Bitcoin never makes it fully into the mainstream. The extreme price volatility of the currency and the lack of buyer protection could mean that Bitcoin may never be fully adopted.
Bitcoin cover is already here
While we may have to wait a while yet to make our insurance payments in Bitcoin, the currency does appear to be influencing the industry in other ways. Recently, for example, the Great American Insurance Group announced it will be offering Bitcoin coverage to businesses. The $5billion company states although standard crime policies do not automatically currently cover virtual peer-to-peer mediums of exchange, it will now offer coverage for Bitcoin in the form of an endorsement to existing crime polices.
Future of Bitcoin
Even though the value of the Bitcoin has increased tenfold over the last 3 years, for the time being at least I will continue taking my salary in cold, hard sterling. Bitcoin, I conclude, is still very much a ‘watch this space’. Now, please excuse me while get back to some Bitcoin mining… I almost have enough for a small Maldivian island.
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The world moves fast and the digital environment is one of the pace-setters. To find out more about future-proofing your insurance systems and automating your insurance transactions please contact us to find out more about Quotall’s insurance system.