Three Ways Bitcoin Went Mainstream This Week
- Estimated read time: 3 min read
- Written by Chad Campbell on Nov 24th 2013
I have the opinion that when we look back at this week in history, we'll see this week as the one where bitcoin went mainstream. Many people have been watching this peer-to-peer digital currency. Some with optimism, some with pessimism, and others out of pure curiosity. Whatever your stance, here are three ways I think bitcoin went mainstream this week.
#1 - Senate Discusses Virtual Currencies
On Tuesday, November 19th, 2013, the senate openly discussed virtual currencies. In fact, some U.S. officials went as far as calling the currency a legitimate financial service. Personally, I was expecting bitcoin to be condemned from platform. I expect a heavy focus on the dark side of how the currency has been used. Even if the focus had been on the dark side (which it wasn't), the shear fact that the government is mentioning bitcoin gives it legitimacy.
#2 - Bitcoin Surpasses Paypal in Volume
On Saturday, November 23rd, 2013, bitcoin surpassed PayPal in transaction volume. Wow. PayPal is practically a household name. I personally found the fact that bitcoin was #6 on the volume market share list perhaps even more interesting. To crack the top 5, bitcoin needs a few more million dollars in volume to surpass Discover (PULSE) Network.
#3 - Virgin Galactic Accepts Bitcoin
Up to this point, I feel like bitcoin has been used primarily across the internet. The currency has been used to purchase virtual goods on sites like Wordpress.com, Reddit, and some other high profile sites. This helped get the ball rolling. However, the missing link was from the virtual world to the physical world.
The link between the virtual and physical worlds has been growing slowly. I don't know how it started. Perhaps it started with a few small businesses trying to attract attention. These businesses became widespread enough that one individual was able to travel across the country using only bitcoin. This week though, bitcoin went beyond small businesses.
Virgin Galactic announced that they would be accepting bitcoins. While Virgin Galactic isn't a mainstream business yet, what's interesting is that Richard Branson is seriously looking at bitcoin. The fact that such a successful entrepreneur is accepting bitcoin for one of his businesses adds significant credibility to the currency.
In closing, its normal for something new to be mocked and viewed as a threat before gaining popularity. At this moment in time, some view bitcoin as an asset bubble, some view it as a scam. Personally, I think we're starting to see bitcoin make its way into the mainstream. I believe that the week of November 17th, 2013 was the tipping point. If you have other opinions, please post them in the comments below.