Bitcoin has done something that no other currency has been able to do effectively: become easily used worldwide, with minimal fees for its usage. Whether you are in the U.K. or Canada, Australia, or anywhere else, funds can quickly and easily be sent from one person to another, which has led to its growth as a more widely accepted currency.
Removing the Third Party
If you take a currency to another country (for example, USD into Canada), there are many places where you can use the currency, but there is one caveat: you have to pay what are sometimes hefty conversion fees. The values fluctuate up and down all the time as well. With Bitcoin, you can settle entirely in the cryptocurrency – as long as both users agree to do so. For example, users making purchases off Overstock can use Bitcoin as their payment method, and then there are no fees. At the same time, there are places in the U.K. that accept Bitcoin. So someone from the U.S. going there could use the currency there as well, without having to keep swapping back and forth for the local currencies. Furthermore, you never have to worry about accidentally converting too much money – your Bitcoin is usable anywhere people want to accept it. And with a growing number of businesses and services doing so, it’s getting that much easier to use.
Currency Turmoil and an International Hedge
Bitcoin has quickly become a hedge for many users worldwide to economic turmoil. From the credit crisis to governments constantly pushing for inflation, having a safe place to park money is important. Historically, the only real hedge has been in precious metals, namely gold and silver. These are accepted pretty much worldwide, like Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, but bring about a few issues:
- Physical movement: to use either of these as money, they have to be physically carried and moved. This means you bear the weight, have to find a safe place to store them, and ensure they’re not stolen
- Can’t be used for small amounts: if you wanted to go buy a coffee, using precious metals wouldn’t work too well. You can’t just shave off however much is needed, and coming up with the right exchange rate would be difficult
- Not widely accepted: while there are some places that will let you convert metals into your currency of choice, the simple fact is that most don’t. In essence, while it is a form of money, you still need a middleman to facilitate the conversion
Bitcoin fixes all of these. It has no weight and doesn’t need to be physically moved (it’s all stored in the blockchain and accessible through private keys), can be used even in fractions of a cent, and is growing in acceptance by the day. On top of this, if you wanted to convert it and just carry fiat, that would be very simple to do! This is why it’s seen as being the “digital gold.”
Regardless of where you live, you can turn Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies into your local fiat currency. It’s in no way locked to where you’re located, and if you travel a lot, its value increases even more since you can use it as much (or as little) as you need, as opposed to trying to figure out how much you’ll need in advance. If you deal with users in other countries, it’s even easier, as you simply send them the crypto and they do the service or send goods in return. Compared to the traditional fiat system, it is truly in a league of its own!