Warning, this post contains a reference to Justin Bieber…read on if you dare…
Crypto-currencies have long since moved on from being the official payment method of internet dwellers. Despite their rather geeky creation methods; a series of mathematical algorithms must first be solved to unlock the currency, crypto-currencies are now worth billions of dollars, and are used even within the mainstream markets.
Famous entrepreneur Richard Branson recently confirmed Bitcoins will now get you a ride into space. Virgin Galactic tours will be accepting the coins as payment for a ride to infinity and beyond. Or at least to the edge of our O-zone layer.
Given that Justin Bieber’s hit song, Baby, was recorded before crypto-currencies such as Bitcoin were even a ‘thing’, their rise to popularity in such a skeptical industry, has been remarkable.
Although Bitcoin is the first type of virtual currency people think of when hearing the words crypto-currency, there are some others also gaining ahead of steam. Reddit users will probably be familiar with Dogecoin. Dogecoin is a new type of currency that’s already been making waves in it’s short time in existence. Back in 2013, before the start of the Sochi winter Olympics, the Jamaican bobsleigh team were struggling to fund their trip to Russia after an unexpected qualification to the event.
Needing $40,000, and feeling slightly hopeless, a Dogecoin campaign run by internet users managed to raise the whole fair and send the team to the tournament. While the currency still needed to be converted into fiat currency to purchase plane tickets and equipment, the fact that such a ‘minor’ currency had made such a big impact at such a big event was a turning point for crypto-currencies.
In many big cities such as London and New York, many restaurants now accept Bitcoin and other crypto-currencies as a form of payment. A trip along London’s South Bank, and New York’s Times Square will reveal a handful of food chains as well as mini food stalls that accept the peer-to-peer form of currency as a payment. Perhaps no food outlet is bigger than Subway. In 2013, the sandwich giants released a list of sandwich outlets which now accepted Bitcoin as payment for food. The move is a far cry from the days when the underground currency was only good for buying hosting or use as a gaming currency.
Bitcoin looks set to grow even more in 2014 and into 2015. London have announced Bitcoin cash machines are to open around the city, allowing owners of them to withdraw fiat currency or exchange into local currency. The idea looks set to be copied by other cities world wide, firmly cementing Bitcoins place among the larger global paper currencies.
What do you think? Are you investing in Bitcoin?
Also on Magical Penny, the story of how I more than doubled my magical pennies through Bitcoin: