Between the years 2007 and 2008, the world experienced a global financial crisis rivalling that of the Great Depression. Banks and financial institutions received massive bail-outs, in the hopes of stabilization. But what of the common man? Entrusting hard-earned money to these institutions resulted in many being left destitute and struggling to keep their heads above water. Thus, the introduction of the Bitcoin. A commodity that answered to no government and no bank, that gave people the financial freedom they craved.
The fact that not everyone is using Bitcoin, after having been in circulation for nearly 8 years, speaks more to the lack of technological development than the popularity of this currency. The sad part is that the Bitcoin could go so far in aiding these third world countries where the national currency is of almost negligible value when compared to the mighty pound, euro or US dollar. Some countries have started placing restrictions on the use of Bitcoins in order to restrict illegal activities but this should not form a hindrance to an individual’s right to spend and earn money without the ever-monitoring eye of Big Brother zooming in.
While the slow spread of internet access is a factor, one cannot disregard the conservative and sometimes terrified attitudes of people who have a distinct lack of trust for all things wifi-enabled. Those people who are concerned that the money they put in won’t be the money they get out or that their privacy will be invaded or that their accounts will be hacked. All very valid issues that have been experienced by Bitcoin users. Between the losses of Mt Gox and Bitfinex, it’s no wonder the procurement of Bitcoins is met with trepidation by the technologically-challenged.
The fluctuations of the Bitcoin value also strikes fear in the heart of the investor. From the initial $0.008 per Bitcoin to a whopping $1000 towards the end of 2013, the Bitcoin showed incredible growth. Only to be struck down by the Mt Gox fiasco in February 2014, falling to $500 per Bitcoin. Early 2016 had the Bitcoin at a low $300-$400 price range but has steadily increased since then, currently at just under $900 per Bitcoin. This unpredictability is especially unappealing to those close to retirement, who have to cherish every penny.
In order to overcome these fears, Bitcoin needs to be more secure, more stable and more user-friendly. So while everyone SHOULD be using Bitcoin in the future, this is entirely dependent on the successful trouble-shooting of these problems.