When getting started with bitcoin, one of the most urgent questions for newcomers is: why use it at all? Why not just stick to traditional currency such as dollars or euros, which are less complex?
While bitcoin has been around since 2009, it’s only in the last couple of years that it’s gain quite a reputation. Though it’s not always a positive one. Sure, there have been some issues associated with this digital currency, but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t hold promise.
Whether you just bought your first bitcoins, or you’re still thinking if investing on them is a good idea, here are a couple of benefits to using it.
6 Big Benefits To Using Bitcoin
1.) Using bitcoin eliminates the middle man – making transactions faster and cheaper.
Traditional transactions usually run like this: you send your money to a merchant via money transfer, bank deposit, or online platforms like Paypal. But as you are using their service, by the time payment reaches the merchant, the middle man (e.g. the bank, online platform, etc.) has already taken its cut.
It could be a certain percentage of the entire fee, or a couple of dollars. Still, that’s a good chunk of your money NOT going to the vendor. Shame, isn’t it?
What if there is a way to eliminate the middle man entirely, thereby getting payments to merchants faster and with minimal to NO fees? That’s what bitcoin intends to do for everyone. As it’s peer-to-peer, you’re free to transact with anyone accepting bitcoins anywhere around the world. No sign-ups, no need for permission, and no third party cuts.
2.) You can’t counterfeit bitcoins.
High-end printing techniques today still haven’t stopped counterfeiters from spreading fake money. This is scary for consumers and merchants alike. The good thing about using bitcoin is that everyone in the network – consumers, merchants, miners, developers, etc. – is involved: so fraudulent attempts or transactions are quickly seen and dealt with.
As bitcoin is digital, you can’t exactly counterfeit it. However, there are still issues with double spending (spending the same bitcoin amount twice). But the good news is that at least one party in the transaction won’t receive the bitcoin.
3.) It’s decentralized – institutions can’t just take it away from you.
You’ve probably had your bank close or freeze your account at some point. If not, lucky you. Now while financial institutions may have their reasons (e.g. you had a negative balance, you had unpaid debts, suspicious activity, etc.), it’s a real pain to be unable to touch your own money.
This often puts people on the spot. Imagine not being able to pay rent or buy groceries although you DO have money.
Bitcoin changed all that because it’s decentralized. This means that NO vital institution or figure owns it. If you already have bitcoin, you can rest easy knowing you won’t wake up one morning to find your wallet frozen. While online platforms (like Coinbase) usually do revamps for better service, you always have a way to access your bitcoins.
4.) Merchants are safe from chargebacks or fraudulent payments.
If you’re a merchant, you’ll love the security that bitcoin brings. Often, transacting with credit cards can be risky due to chargebacks. Buyers will pay using their card, collect the product, then call the credit card company to reverse the transaction. This leaves the merchant with nothing.
Bitcoin is safer in that once it’s sent, it’s gone. Unless the merchant decides to send back the bitcoin, the buyer can’t simply call anyone to reverse the transaction.
Plus, merchants who can’t accept credit cards always have the option to accept bitcoins. This helps them tap into a global market easily – and with peace of mind.
5.) Using bitcoins is private and transparent at the same time.
Using bitcoins is a lot like having a glass vault with your own set of keys. While everyone can see what’s inside your vault, they can’t touch it. Only YOU have the key that can open it.
Unlike regular bank accounts, those in the network only see your glass vault, which is your bitcoin address, used to hold your bitcoins. They don’t see your name, address, or what your purchases were. This is especially helpful, particularly for folks who want to keep themselves as private as they can in cyberspace.
However, fraudulent transactions are quickly and easily seen by everyone in the bitcoin network. This helps address issues quickly and keeps all transactions legitimate.
6.) Bitcoin isn’t subject to inflation like fiat currency.
No one enjoys inflation. While this is normal in the world of traditional currency and economics, bitcoins are thankfully exempted. That’s because there’s only a finite number of bitcoins to ever be produced – 21 million to be exact. After that, no more.
Whereas the government might double the printing of currency to meet economic needs (thereby affecting inflation), you can’t do the same for bitcoin. So if you’ve invested in this digital currency, you might enjoy deflation (a decrease in prices of goods and services) instead in the future.
Whether or not you make the decision of using bitcoin is completely up to you. However, as this digital currency spreads to more and more users, it might not be such a bad idea to get your hands on some.