There are many reasons why people own cryptocurrencies. One is to store cryptocurrencies as value due to the limited supply of coins like Bitcoin. Some people store cryptocurrency for speculation — meaning they aim to make a profit when a coin’s value increases against the United States dollar or other coins.
One of the major reasons why people own Bitcoin is to be able to make daily transactions, from shopping in a grocery store to travelling around the world. But are businesses keeping up with the crypto revolution? Let’s take a look.
The travel industry is one of the biggest industries in the world. According to Travel Agent Central, it’s the world’s second-fastest growing industry. About $1.7 trillion is expected to be spent in the travel industry this year.
With this development, a growing number of travelers who own cryptocurrencies are expected to pay for hotel rooms or for flights from their crypto wallets. A growing number of companies are adapting to this development. For example, both parking reservation company Parking Access and airport shuttle booking company Shuttlefare recently added the Bitcoin payment service provider BitPay to their websites, allowing customers to use cryptocurrency as a payment method.
The banking sector
Humans have relied heavily on banks to make daily payments and securely store their money. Banks are also responsible for investing assets to create more wealth. The number of people using banks is on the rise every year, according to the Global Findex database of the World Bank: 1.2 billion adults opened a bank account from 2011 to 2017.
The traditional financial industry has not been without some challenges in the past few years, with central banks of countries like Venezuela and Zimbabwe printing fiat currencies to address crumbling economies, and market leaders like Deutsche Bank caught in money laundering scandals. Many people are beginning to doubt if the traditional banking system will even continue in the coming years.
With services like PayPal and Alipay offering fast transaction speeds, the crypto space will have to compete in order to partially or completely replace the traditional banking system.
The greatest advantage the cryptocurrency space has is its promise for a transparent banking system. Decentralization and immutability ensure that everyone in the network understands what is occurring within the system — a feature lacking in the current banking. Banks understand this, which is why some entities such as Bank of America are using a single, blockchain-centred network to house banking records and to authenticate personal and business data.
Can blockchain technology be used for online shopping?
The online shopping industry is on the increase as more people are choosing to receive goods from the comfort of their homes rather than trekking to a nearby grocery store. With the online shopping market size expected to reach $4 trillion in 2020, more cryptocurrency companies will need to be involved to make a worldwide adoption of cryptocurrencies a reality.
Blockchain can help to improve supply chains in terms of secure and transparent payment service as well as in the online shopping industry. For example, a user can scan a QR code on a container of orange juice to see the product’s journey to the store, which helps to fight counterfeit goods.
Some companies are also offering an easy way to shop some of the largest online stores, including Amazon. For example, Olodolo enables users to shop on AliExpress while paying in various cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin Cash, Ether and Litecoin.
The cryptocurrency revolution is moving fast, but to help this happen, we need to increase the number of businesses around the world that accept cryptocurrencies as a means of payment. From online shopping to traveling around, we have seen how a lot of businesses are adapting to the crypto revolution.
The views, thoughts and opinions expressed here are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.
Oluwatobi Joel is a U.S.-based freelance copywriter, community manager, blockchain expert and serial entrepreneur. He has worked with various blockchain startups as a marketing strategist.