While the cryptocurrency markets bull run of 2017 succeeded in bringing digital assets global consciousness, the rollercoaster ride did very little to increase meaningful adoption, as most holders bought bitcoin and other cryptoassets for only speculative purposes and not for payments.
However, with the bears fully in charge and volatility drastically reduced, cryptoassets are slowly but steadily beginning to function as money, reported Finance Magnates on December 12, 2018.
More Retailers now Accepting Cryptos
While cryptocurrency point of sale (PoS) systems have been in existence for quite some time now, only a handful of digital assets investors and merchants have carried out transactions via cryptocurrencies. Due to the volatility that comes with bitcoin and altcoins, most merchants and retailers have been wary of accepting the coins as a medium of exchange for their products.
Despite the current market downturn, it’s worth noting that 2018 has seen a significant increase in the number of merchants willing to accept crypto payments. And nations like Venezuela and Iran, where hyperinflation and international sanctions have crippled the economy, many have turned to digital assets for survival.
After launching their state-backed cryptocurrency, the Petro (PTR) via an initial coin offering (ICO) that purportedly raised $735 earlier this year – an event that officially threw Venezuela’s gates wide open for crypto-linked businesses – a significant number of merchants in the state now accept cryptos.
In August reports emerged that Dash (DASH), a privacy-centric altcoin, was gaining mass adoption in the oil-rich state, with more than 90 retail stores integrating Dash into their operations every week. According to Finance Magnates, at current, more than 2,500 merchants in Venezuela now accept Dash.
As reported by BTCManager, on April 17, 2018, Venezuela’s 24-hour bitcoin transaction volume surpassed $1 million for the first time.
It’s worthy of note that it’s not only embattled nations and adult entertainment sites that have chosen to tread the crypto path. In February 2018, BTCManager reported the story of Liberland, a tiny autonomous nation located on the Danube River between Serbia and Croatia, whose official currency is bitcoin.
In related news, in March 2018, South Korea’s leading cryptocurrency exchange and trading venue allied with Pay’s to allow 6,000 Korean merchants accept bitcoin and other digital currencies. The move marked a significant victory for DLT-based virtual currencies in the crypto-friendly state.