Bitcoin, initially, was nothing but an alternative, decentralized payment method because it was low-cost and almost instantaneous. Satoshi Nakamoto created it to be so, and not only did it stay that way. But it worked as an advantage for a few individuals due to it being irreversible, which removed the threat of expensive chargebacks.
However, while the merchants enjoy that, consumers enjoy benefits from a wider selection of both domestic and international merchants, without stressing over exchange fees. And there’s more! It protects their data because the details of their transactions are encrypted.
But despite the improvement in payment methods and the fleeting development of alternative forms of international transfers, bitcoin’s advantage has diminished due to the frequent network bottlenecks, and its increasing fees. And the process of hampering illegal transactions and money laundering is moderating the use of cryptocurrencies due to privacy reasons.
While it is still an efficient and cheaper way to transfer money in some parts of the world, it’s cost and speed advantages crumble due to traditional channels improving. Along with this, the rapid increase in the network’s fees and availability continue to create a problem in many countries.
And even though retailers of various sizes accept bitcoin as payment, the demand for this isn’t as high.
When central authorities cannot block access or take a cut of securely-stored bitcoin wallets, it is only then that many individuals feel comfortable enough to store it that way. But there has been a huge surge for bitcoin wallets since the quarantine began for alternative self-custody solutions. This has also given rise to more businesses, payment companies, and e-commerce marketplaces adopting blockchain technology.
However, bitcoin is an easy target for money laundering, but crypto tracing firms and blockchain analytics startups are working towards creating new tools to incorporate exchanges with anti-money laundering standards. And despite popular belief, bitcoin aren’t great money laundering, terrorism, or more due to being traceable and transparent.